Last updated: 22 July, 2012

Assad welcomes new army chief

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received his newly appointed army chief-of-staff General Ali Ayyub, state television reported.

“President Assad met chief-of-staff General Ali Ayyub and gave him his instructions,” the broadcaster reported.

Ayyub replaces Fahd al-Freij, who was named defence minister after the death of Daoud Rajha in a blast that also killed three other senior regime members.

The attack, claimed by the rebel Free Syrian Army, also killed national security chief General Hisham Ikhtiyar, Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkmani, head of the regime’s crisis cell on the uprising.