Aug.9 - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appoints Health Minister Wael al-Halki as prime minister, after the defection earlier this week of former Prime Minister Riyad Hijab. Travis Brecher reports.
This is Syria's new prime minister, shown here in Damascus last week. Syrian state television reported on Thursday that President Bashar al-Assad appointed former Health Minister Wael al-Halki to the post. Born in 1964, Halki hails from the southern province of Deraa, where the 17-month-old uprising against Assad first erupted. Halki's appointment comes after the former prime minister, Riyad Hijab, defected to Jordan on Monday. Hijab fled after only two months on the job. Like Hijab, Halki is from Syria's Sunni Muslim majority. Sunnis have been the driving force of the 17-month-old uprising.