Report: Assad plans political reshuffle
An Arabic Web site reported on Wednesday that Syrian President, Bashar al Assad, is expected soon to dismiss his two deputies, Abdel Halim Khaddam and Dr. Muhammad Zuheir Masharqa. He will replace them with foreign minister Farouk al-Shara, Elaph reported. The current deputy foreign minister, Walid al-Mualem, will replace Al-Shara, the report added.
The goal of this move is Assad's bid to bring "fresh blood" into decision making centers in Damascus. Some sources have also said that this move is the output of heavy American pressure on Syria to replace high ranking members of the regime.
Khaddam, 73, was once considered a possible successor to Syrian President Hafez Assad, but his political influence has been on the decline for several years.