Syria’s Assad appoints new oil minister in cabinet reshuffle

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed a new oil minister and changed four other ministers in a cabinet reshuffle, state media said on Wednesday.

Hassan Kaddour, who was the general director of the Syrian Petroleum Company for the last two years, replaces Bassam Touma as oil minister, the report said.

Assad named Mohsen Abdelkarim Ali as internal trade minister, Abdelqader Jokhdar as industry minister, Louay al-Munajjed as social affairs minister and Ahmed Bostachi as a state minister.

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It was the biggest reshuffling of Assad’s cabinet since he was elected for another seven-year term in 2021, when he only changed a few posts in the government.

Assad switched out his defense minister in April 2022.

The conflict raging in Syria since 2011 has cost the country much of its domestic oil production, especially with the northeastern oil producing fields outside government control.

As a result, Syria has grown more dependent on Iranian oil shipments, but tightening sanctions on Iran, Syria and their allies and a foreign currency crunch have made it more difficult to get enough supplies in the past year, industry experts say.

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