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The Syrian Salvation Government is a de facto alternative government of the Syrian Opposition, seated within Idlib Governorate. The General Conference, concluded on 11 September 2017, formed a constituent assembly and named a new prime minister. In early November 2017, the General Conference formed the Syrian Salvation Government.[3] There followed weeks of conflict between the new oppositional government and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), with reports of HTS unilaterally disbanding several SIG-supported local councils across northwestern Syria.[3] The Salvation Government is seen as illegitimate by the opposition's main Syrian Interim Government.[3]

Syrian Salvation Government
حكومة الإنقاذ السورية
Flag of the Syrian Salvation Government.svg
Syrian Salvation Government logo.png
Emblem of the Syrian Salvation Government[2]
Established2 November 2017
StateSyria (opposition)
LeaderMohammed al-Sheikh
Appointed byGeneral Syrian Conference
Main organCabinet
HeadquartersIdlib, Syria


Since 2014, large parts of Idlib Governorate, including Idlib City, in Northwest Syria have been largely in the military control of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front which would later go on to form Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) along with five other groups, who have been at war with other rebel fighters, including the Free Syrian Army, and with the Syrian opposition more generally. HTS does not recognise the authority of the official opposition leadership, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, or its recognised government, the Syrian Interim Government. However, HTS generally removed itself from the day to day governance of territories it held, leading to a form of dual power in which civil administration was carried out by co-operatively-run local councils.[4] Throughout 2017, HTS had been engaged in particularly intense armed conflict with rival rebel groups - see Idlib Governorate clashes (January–March 2017) and Idlib Governorate clashes (July 2017).


Students of the Free Aleppo University in al-Dana protest against the closure of several faculties by the Syrian Salvation Government.

The General Syrian Conference, held in Idlib in September 2017, was a continuation of the Civil Administration Initiative in opposition-controlled areas, held at the end of August 2017 in Idlib.[5]

The General Conference, concluded on 11 September 2017, formed a constituent assembly and named a new prime minister. The Syrian Interim Government rejected the outcome of the conference; its president, Jawad Abu Hatab, called it “a declaration of the “Idlibstan” project. The Syrian Democratic Forces in Qamishli and Afrin also rejected it.[5] Conference participants agreed upon “Islamic law as the only source of legislation","the need to preserve the identity of the Syrian Muslim people”, “the overthrow of the illegal regime with all its symbols and pillars and holding it accountable for its committed crimes, as well as liberating the Syrian territory from all the occupying forces, extending security and spreading justice in the liberated areas”.[5]

The move was seen as part of an attempt by Tahrir al-Sham to impose its control on the region.[5] Riad al-Asaad's attendance at the conference was controversial. Riad al-Asaad said that “Tahrir al-Sham has previously declared that it will be dissolve itself, which is an external and internal demand”, and that HTS “did not attend the conference and we did not communicate with them after it ended, either”.[5] However, the Hawar Kilis Operations Room, part of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, condemned Riad al-Asaad and accused him of conspiring with Al-Qaida.[6]

In early November 2017, the General Conference formed the Syrian Salvation Government.[3] There followed weeks of conflict between the new government and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), with reports of HTS unilaterally disbanding several SIG-supported local councils across northwestern Syria.[3]

On 12 December 2017, the Syrian Salvation Government issued a warning that called for the Syrian Interim Government to evacuate their offices from opposition-controlled areas in 72 hours.[7][3] There were reports that some SIG-run local councils had already been closed, and replaced by SSG-loyal alternatives, but others said they would not vacate their offices.[3]

On 6 January 2018, the Salvation Government declared control over the SIG-initiated Free Aleppo University, and closed several faculties in al-Dana and Sarmada, north of Idlib, where almost 4,000 students study. This resulted in protests by students and lecturers of the university against the group.[8][9]

On 11 March 2018, Russian planes reportedly fired a missile on the SSG Ministry of Justice east of Idlib city.[10]

On 29 January 2019, a female suicide bomber accused by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham of being linked to ISIL attacked the headquarters of the Salvation Government. After fighting guards outside the facility for several minutes, she blew herself up, wounding a number of people. Two days later ISIL denied they were responsible for the attack, using their media outlet Amaq News Agency.[11][12]


The domestic group has appointed Mohammed al-Sheikh as head of the Government with 11 more ministers for Interior, Justice, Endowment, Higher Education, Education, Health, Agriculture, Economy, Social Affairs and Displaced, Housing and Reconstruction and Local Administration and Services. Al-Sheikh, in a press conference held at the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing has also announced the formation of four commissions: Inspection Authority, Prisoners and missing Affairs, Planning and Statistics Authority, and the Union of Trade Unions.[citation needed] The founder of the Free Syrian Army, Col. Riad al-Asaad, was appointed as deputy prime minister for military affairs.[citation needed]

List of MinistersEdit

Incumbent Office Since Until
Mohammed al-Sheikh Prime Minister of Syrian Salvation Government 2 November 2017[13] Incumbent
Jamal Shahoud Deputy Prime Minister of Syrian Salvation Government[14] ? Incumbent
Col. Riad al-Asaad Deputy Prime Minister for Military Affairs[citation needed] 2 November 2017 ?
Brigadier Ahmed Nuri Mohammed Dib[15] Ministry of Interior 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Ibrahim Mohamed Shasho[citation needed] Ministry of Justice 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Anas Mohammed Bashir Al-Mousa[citation needed] Ministry of Awqaf, Da'wah and Guidance 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Dr. Juma Al Omar[9][16] Ministry of Higher Education 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Mohammed Jamal Shahoud[citation needed] Ministry of Education 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Jarak[citation needed] Ministry of Health 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Fayez Ahmed Al-Khalif[citation needed] Ministry of Agriculture 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Abdul Salam Al Khalaf[citation needed] Ministry of Economy 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Mohammed Ali Amer[citation needed] Ministry of Social Affairs and Displaced Persons 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Eng. Yasser Ghassan Al Najjar[citation needed] Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction 2 November 2017 Incumbent
Eng. Fadel Abdel Qader[citation needed]/Fadel Talib (December 2017)[3] Ministry of Local Administration and Services ? ?

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Borhan, Hasan (11 December 2018). "Salvation Government adopts new flag instead of Syrian Revolution; detentions and kidnappings occure in Idlib and Daraa". SMARTNews Agency. SMART news. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "HTS-backed civil authority moves against rivals in latest power grab in northwest Syria". Syria Direct. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  4. ^ TRTWorld (17 November 2017). "The shifting red sands of Idlib". The shifting red sands of Idlib. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e "The Syrian General Conference Faces the Interim Government in Idlib". Enab Baladi. 18 September 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Euphrates Shield: Riyad al-Assaad is an intruder and conspirator". Al-Alam News Network. 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Syrian Salvation Government Gives The Syrian Interim Government 72 Hours To Evacuate Their Offices". Qasioun News Agency. 12 December 2017.
  8. ^ "So-Called Salvation Government Orders To Shut Several Faculties In Aleppo Free University". Qasioun News Agency. 6 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b "A power struggle over education emerges between rival opposition governments in Idlib province". Syria Direct. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Russian forces shelled the building of Ministry of Justice and the local administration of the Syrian Salvation government in Idlib city on March 11". Syrian Network for Human Rights. 11 March 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Syria news Shaam network
  14. ^ Koseoglu, Sinem (5 September 2018). "Millions in Idlib brace for Syrian government assault". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Car bomb hits International Rescue Committee office in northern Idlib as wave of mysterious attacks grows". Syria Direct. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Idlib University: Faculty of Medicine Forces Its Way to International Recognition". Enab Baladi. 25 August 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.