Syrian Interim Government

The Syrian Interim Government (SIG) is an alternative government in Syria, formed by the umbrella opposition group, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. The interim government indirectly controls some areas of the country and claims to be the sole legitimate government on behalf of the Syrian opposition in defiance of the Council of Ministers of the Syrian Arab Republic. The interim government's headquarters in Syria are located in the city of Azaz in Aleppo Governorate.[2][3]

Syrian Interim Government
الحكومة السورية المؤقتة


Established18 March 2013
StateSyria (Syrian opposition)
LeaderSalem al-Meslet
Appointed byPresident of the Syrian Coalition
Main organCabinet
Responsible toSyrian Coalition
HeadquartersAzaz, Syria[1]

History Edit

At a conference held in Istanbul on 19 March 2013, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) elected Ghassan Hitto as prime minister of a Syrian interim government. Hitto announced that a technical government would be formed led by 10 to 12 ministers, with the minister of defence to be chosen by the Free Syrian Army.[4] At first, the SIG was "based in exile and lack[ed] an organizational base inside Syria."[5] It was intended that the new ministries would not be placed in a single location but distributed in regions under the control of the Syrian opposition.[6]

A Christian, a Kurd and a woman were part of the first cabinet; Ahmad Ramadan of the SNC stated that the cabinet was appointed on a meritocratic basis.[7] The Assyrian component of the National Coalition said that they were not given any attention in the selection of the cabinet.[7] Its General Assembly has an administrative function.[8] The first interim cabinet was dissolved in July 2014.[9] A new cabinet was formed in October 2014.

The SIG has been the primary civilian authority throughout most of Syria's opposition-held areas. Its system of administrative local councils operate services such as schools and hospitals in these areas.[10] In December 2015, the SIG founded the Free Aleppo University (FAU), as an alternative to government-run universities; an estimated 7,000 students were enrolled in FAU in early 2018, with campuses in opposition-held territory across five provinces. In January 2018, the SIG moved the University's administration from Idlib to the west Aleppo town of Bashqateen.[11] In late September 2016, the Syrian interim government minister for local administration was among a dozen people killed by an ISIL suicide bomber in the southern city of Inkhil.[12][13]

The interim government was based in Turkey and has received direct funding from the United States.[14] In January 2015, the Syrian interim government received US$6 million from the United States, the first funding of this kind. The funds were to be used for reconstruction efforts and the strengthening of local government in opposition-held parts of Syria such as northern Aleppo and northwestern Idlib, with the interim government planning to expand into northern Latakia and northern Hama in the following months.[14] By August 2017, the Syrian interim government stopped paying salaries to workers, and work within the interim government became voluntary work.[15] As the Turkish occupation of northern Syria grew from 2016, the SIG moved into the Turkish-controlled territories and began to exert partial authority there, including providing documents to Syrian citizens.[16][17][18][19][20]

By late 2017, the SIG presided over 12 provincial councils and over 400 elected local councils. It held elections across Idlib Governorate in 2017. It also operates a major border crossing between Syria and Turkey, which generates an estimated $1 million revenue each month.[10] In opposition areas outside the Turkish-occupied ones, the SIG has been in conflict with the Islamist Syrian Salvation Government for control since September 2017.

On 30 December 2017, at least 30 factions operating under the banner of the Syrian Interim Government merged in a unified armed group after four months of preparations. Jawad Abu Hatab, the SIG's Prime Minister and Defence Minister, announced the formation of the Syrian National Army (SNA) after meeting with rebel commanders in the town of Azaz. The newly formed body claimed to have 22,000 fighters, many of them trained and equipped by Turkey.[21] The National Front for Liberation is also aligned to the Syrian Interim Government, and eventually became a subgroup of the SNA.

List of presidents Edit

No. Portrait Name
Took office Left office Political party Note(s)
1   Moaz al-Khatib
11 November 2012 22 April 2013 Independent
  George Sabra
22 April 2013 6 July 2013 Syrian National Council Acting President.[22]
2   Ahmad Jarba
6 July 2013 9 July 2014 Syrian National Council Re-elected on 5 January 2014.
3   Hadi al-Bahra
9 July 2014 4 January 2015[23] Independent
4   Khaled Khoja
4 January 2015 5 March 2016[23] Independent Re-elected on 3 August 2015.[24]
5   Anas al-Abdah
5 March 2016 6 May 2017 Independent
6   Riad Seif 6 May 2017[25] 9 March 2018 Independent
7   Abdurrahman Mustafa[26] 9 March 2018 29 June 2019 Syrian Turkmen Assembly
8   Anas al-Abdah
29 June 2019[27] 12 July 2020 Syrian National Council
9   Naser al-Hariri
12 July 2020 12 July 2021 Independent Revolutionary Movement
10   Salem al-Meslet 12 July 2021[28] Incumbent Syrian Council of Tribes and Clans

Prime ministers Edit

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Political party Note(s)
  Ghassan Hitto
Acting Prime Minister
18 March 2013 14 September 2013 Independent
Failed to form a government;
resigned on 8 July.
1   Ahmad Tu'mah 14 September 2013 22 July 2014[9] Independent
(1)   Ahmad Tu'mah 14 October 2014[29] 17 May 2016 Independent
Second term.
2   Jawad Abu Hatab 17 May 2016 10 March 2019[30] Independent
3   Abdurrahman Mustafa 30 June 2019[31] Incumbent Syrian National Council

List of ministers Edit

Incumbent Office Since Until
Akram Tomeh Vice Prime Minister 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Salim Idris Minister of Defense 1 September 2019 Incumbent
Jawad Abu Hatab Minister of the Interior 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Abdel Moneim Alhalabi Minister of Finance 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Mohammed Firas Aljundi Minister of Health 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Abdul Aziz Aldughem[11] Minister of Higher Education 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Imad Albarq Minister of Education 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Yaaqoub Alammar Minister of Local Administration 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Jamal Kallash Minister of Agriculture 12 July 2016 Incumbent
Abdullah Razzouk Minister of Services 12 July 2016 Incumbent

Population centers Edit

This list includes some of the largest cities and towns under the Syrian Interim Government.

English Name Arabic Name Kurdish Name Turkish Name
Azaz أعزاز Azez
Afrin عفرين Efrîn Afrin
Jarabulus جرابلس Cerablûs Cerablus
Akhtarin أخترين Aktarin
Tell Abyad تل أبيض Girê Spî Tellebyad
al-Bab الباب El-Bab
Ras al-Ayn رأس العين Serê Kaniyê Resulayn
Sawran صوران Soran
Bizaah بزاعة Bizza
Qabasin قباسين Qebasîn Başköy
Mare' مارع Mare

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ SyriaSource by Hosam al-Jablawi Has the International Community Succeeded in Creating a Safe Zone in Syria After Years of War? 17 April 2017
  2. ^ Lister, Charles (31 October 2017). "Turkey's Idlib incursion and the HTS question: Understanding the long game in Syria". War on the Rocks. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Russia and Turkey Have Agreed to Create 'Safe Zones' in Syria, But Rebels Are Unimpressed". Time. Associated Press. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Syrian rebels to choose interim defence minister". World Bulletin. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ Sayigh, Yezid (3 April 2013). "The Syria's opposition 's leadership problem". Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  6. ^ "New ministries will not be in single location- Syrian opposition". World Bulletin. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Syrian opposition government begins work as Kurds announce self-rule". Asharq Al-Awsat. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Syrian National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces - General Body". 19 December 2013. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Syrian opposition coalition dissolves interim government". Reuters. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  10. ^ a b "HTS-backed civil authority moves against rivals in latest power grab in northwest Syria". Syria Direct. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b "A power struggle over education emerges between rival opposition governments in Idlib province". Syria Direct. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  12. ^ At least 13 persons including the minister of “interim government” killed in explosion at police station in Inkhel SOHR, 22 September 2016
  13. ^ ISIS suicide attack rocks rebel HQ in southern Syria Archived 7 April 2020 at the Wayback Machine Al Masdar, 22 September 2016
  14. ^ a b "US gives $6 million to Syria opposition government". Agence France-Presse. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  15. ^ "The Syrian interim government stopped paying salaries and volunteering work". Micro Syria. 8 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Safe zone 'crucial for Turkmen in Syria'". Archived from the original on 7 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Has the International Community Succeeded in Creating a Safe Zone in Syria After Years of War?". 17 April 2017. Archived from the original on 7 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  18. ^ Macaron, Joe. "Trump's 'real estate' approach to safe zones in Syria". Archived from the original on 24 May 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Turkey's troops cross over into Syria's Afrin". Archived from the original on 28 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Suriye'de güvenli bölge planları ne kadar gerçekçi? | DW | 28.09.2019". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  21. ^ "30 rebel groups merge under Interim Govt's banner, form 'The National Army'". Zaman al-Wasl. 31 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Syria opposition names interim leader". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Syrian opposition bloc appoints new leader". Al Jazeera English. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Syrian Coalition Re-elects Presidential Body for 2nd Term". 2 August 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Leading Syrian opposition body elects dissident Riad Seif as new chief". Middle East Eye. 6 May 2017.
  26. ^ [1] SMDK Başkanı Seyf istifa etti
  27. ^ "Anas Al Abde". National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  28. ^ "Salem al-Meslet, New Opposition President, Met with Optimism and Pessimism". The Syrian Observer. 15 July 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  29. ^ "Al-Khodr re-elected PM of Syrian interim government". KUNA. 14 October 2014. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  30. ^ al-Khateb, Khaled (15 March 2019). "Is this the end of the Syrian Interim Government?". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Syrian Coalitions' General Assembly Elects New Presidential & Political Bodies & New SIG Head". National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.