Syria Taps New PM, Will Form New Gov't

Adel Safar is Bashar Assad's latest attempt to quell protests

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 3, 2011 8:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Syrian President Bashar Assad appointed former agriculture minister Adel Safar today as prime minister, and charged him with forming a new government in continuing overtures toward reform as the country struggles to put down a wave of anti-government protests. Safar is seen as a respectable figure in a government that many had criticized for corruption.

Hundreds of people were marching today in Douma, a suburb of the capital Damascus, for funerals to mourn those killed in the latest round of protests, which started two weeks ago. At least 80 people have died in clashes with security forces. Human rights groups and eyewitnesses said a campaign of arrests was continuing today as Assad tries to cut off the demonstrations. Ammar Qurabi, who heads Syria's National Organization for Human Rights, said at least 500 people were under arrest since protests began on March 18.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, waves to his supporters after he made his speech at the Parliament, in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, March 30, 2011.
Syrian President Bashar Assad, waves to his supporters after he made his speech at the Parliament, in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, March 30, 2011.   (AP Photo/SANA)
People walk at Hamidiyah market in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, April 3, 2011. Syrian President Bashar Assad appointed a former agriculture minister Sunday to form a new government.
People walk at Hamidiyah market in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, April 3, 2011. Syrian President Bashar Assad appointed a former agriculture minister Sunday to form a new government.   (AP Photo/ Bassem Tellawi)
Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks at the Parliament, in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, March 30, 2011.
Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks at the Parliament, in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, March 30, 2011.   (AP Photo/SANA)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
0%
12%
12%
29%
47%
0%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!