BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:40 P.M.) – On Monday, the Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, issued a decision to “appoint governors for the governorates of Raqqa and Idlib,” marking the first time in years that he has done so.

The Syrian Presidency said in a statement that “President Al-Assad issued Decree No. 293 for the year 2020, to appoint Mr. Abdul-Razzaq Khalifa as governor of the Raqqa Governorate,” and “Decree No. 297 for the year 2020 appointing Mr. Muhammad Natouf as governor of the Idlib governorate.”

The Syrian President also issued other decisions to appoint governors in the governorates of Hama, Al-Quneitra, and Deir Ezzor.

It should be pointed out that the administrative capitals of Idlib and Al-Raqqa are currently under the control of two separate entities.

Idlib city was captured by Jaysh Al-Fateh in the Spring of 2015 and is currently under the control of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS).

Raqqa city was captured by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Jabhat Al-Nusra in late 2012 and has been under the control of two other entities since then, including the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) from 2014-2017 and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from 2017-present.

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