Bashar al-Assad fired the prime minister a month before the election


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired Prime Minister Imad Khamis a month before the upcoming election as the economic crisis deepens and public discontent in Damascus-controlled territories intensifies, the Associated Press and AFP reported.

Assad has appointed Water Minister Hussein Arnus as caretaker prime minister. He will hold the post until next month’s parliamentary elections and the appointment of a new government.

Khamis has been prime minister since 2016, reminds AFP.

The surprise decision came amid a deepening economic crisis facing the Assad government. In recent weeks, the Syrian national currency has fallen sharply against the dollar, reaching unprecedented lows, while food prices have skyrocketed. The United States is expected to impose sanctions on all countries and companies that have financial relations with the Syrian government in the second half of June, but expectations have already shaken the country’s volatile economy.

Difficulties have led to unprecedented protests in territories controlled by the Assad government. Hundreds have protested in the southern province of Swayda over the past four days, recalling the first days of anti-government protests in 2011, the AP notes.

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