DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria's state-run news agency is reporting that President Bashar Assad has reappointed premier Wael al-Halqi to form a new government.
SANA says Assad issued a decree Sunday tasking al-Halqi to form the new Cabinet. Al-Halqi automatically became a caretaker premier following June presidential elections in which Assad claimed a new seven-year term in office.
The vote was confined to government-controlled areas and dismissed by the opposition and its Western allies as a sham. In his inauguration speech on July 16, he confidently declared victory and praised his supporters for "defeating the dirty war."
It is not clear how much time al-Halqi has to form the Cabinet, which is not expected to change the course of Syria's 3-year-old civil war. Opposition activists say the war has killed more than 170,000 people.