Syrian President Bashar Assad formed a new government Saturday (June 23rd) while 40 people were killed in violence nationwide, AFP reported.
Riad Hijab was chosen as prime minister to lead the new government.
Less than two months after the country held parliamentary elections that the opposition boycotted, Assad issued a decree forming the new government, which includes 20 new faces. The leaders of the foreign, defence and interior ministry were unchanged.
At least 40 people were killed Saturday as government forces shelled opposition strongholds and clashed with opposition fighters in Homs, Hama, Deraa, Damascus, Idlib and Deir ez-Zor.
Ten government troops were killed when they attempted to desert in Damascus province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Officials in Turkey said one of its fighter jets may have violated Syrian airspace after officials in Syria confirmed the jet was shot down. Both countries are now searching for the two missing crew members of the Turkish F-4 Phantom jet, which was shot over the Mediterranean Sea Friday.