Assad appoints new security team

A Syrian government official says President Bashar Assad has named five officials to top security posts in a reshuffle of the regime's inner circle.

One of Tuesday's appointments replaces Assad's national security chief, who died last week after being wounded in a rebel bombing that also killed three other officials.

The new appointees are known regime figures, making it unlikely that the reshuffle will alter the government's efforts to defeat anti-Assad rebels.

Rebel groups are battling the government across Syria as the country's 16-month crisis grows increasingly violent and chaotic.

Last week's bomb attack struck a sharp blow to the regime's top brass, though government troops have now largely routed rebel forces fighting in the capital.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss security matters.