Assad names new defense minister, vows to "cut hands" of terrorists
The Chief of Staff of the Syrian Army, Fahd al-Freij, was Wednesday named as the new defense minister, announced the national news agency SANA. Daoud Rajha his predecessor was killed this morning in a bombing attack against ministers and senior Syrian officials, who gathered for a meeting at the National Security headquarters in the heart of the Syrian capital.
Appointed in August 2011, General Daoud Rajha was 65 at the time of his death.
There are no confirmed reports about the fate of the man who heads the National Security, General Hisham Ikhtiar. He is considered a key man of the repression by the regime. He has been appearing since May 2011 on the list of those sanctioned by the European Union and had reportedly faced a few months ago, along with other military officials, a botched attempt to assassination by poisoning.
Meanwhile, the Syrian regime has promised to punish those responsible and to "cut all the hands that threaten national security." A military statement read by state television, has detailed that "the armed forces are determined to eradicate criminals, gangs of killers and prosecute them wherever they go."