Syrian Interim Government

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Syrian Interim Government
الحكومة السورية المؤقتة
Syrian Interim Government coat of arms.svg
Flag of Syria 2011, observed.svg
Established18 March 2013
StateSyria (opposition)
LeaderAnas al-Abdah
Appointed byPresident of the Syrian Coalition
Main organCabinet
Responsible toSyrian Coalition
HeadquartersAzaz, Syria[1]
Flag of Syria 2011, observed.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Syrian opposition

The Syrian Interim Government is a government in exile in Turkey, which was formed by the umbrella Syrian opposition group, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. The interim government operates in areas of Syria that are part of the Turkish occupation of northern Syria and claims to be the sole legitimate government of the country, in defiance of the Council of Ministers of the Syrian Arab Republic. The interim government is seated in exile in Turkey. Its Syrian headquarters are in the city of Azaz in Aleppo Governorate.[2][3]


At a conference held in Istanbul on 19 March 2013, members of National Coalition 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. The minister of defence is to be chosen by the Free Syrian Army.[4] As of 3 April 2013, the organization is "based in exile and lack[s] an organizational base inside Syria."[5] The new ministries will not be placed in a single location but will be distributed in regions which are under the control of the Syrian opposition.[6]

A Christian, a Kurd and a woman are part of the appointed cabinet; Ahmad Ramadan, a member of the National Coalition, has stated that the cabinet was appointed on a meritocratic basis.[7] The Assyrian component of the National Coalition has stated that they were not given any attention in the selection of the cabinet.[7] The General Assembly has an administrative function.[8] The interim cabinet was dissolved on 22 July 2014.[9] A new cabinet was formed on 14 October 2014.

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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

On 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.[13][14]

The interim government is based in Turkey and has received direct funding from the United States.[10] By August 2017, the Syrian interim government stopped paying salaries to workers, and work within the interim government became voluntary work.[15]

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.[11]

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 Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, announced forming of the Syrian National Army 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.[16] The National Front for Liberation is also aligned to the Syrian Interim Government, though not a part of the National Army.

List of Presidents[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Took office Left office Political party Note(s)
1 Sheikh Ahmed Moaz Al Khatib.jpg Moaz al-Khatib
11 November 2012 22 April 2013 Independent
George Sabra جورج صبرة 1993.jpg George Sabra
22 April 2013 6 July 2013 Syrian National Council Acting President.[17]
2 Sheikh Ahmad al-Assi al-Jarba.jpg Ahmad Jarba
6 July 2013 9 July 2014 Syrian National Council Re-elected on 5 January 2014.
3 Hadi Al Bahra.jpg Hadi al-Bahra
9 July 2014 4 January 2015[18] Independent
4 Khaled Khoja (7621916808).jpg Khaled Khoja
4 January 2015 5 March 2016[18] Independent Re-elected on 3 August 2015.[19]
5 Anas al-Abdah
5 March 2016 6 May 2017 Independent
6 Riad Seif 6 May 2017[20] 9 March 2018 Independent
7 Abdurrahman Mustafa STA.jpg Abdurrahman Mustafa[21] 9 March 2018 29 June 2019 Syrian Turkmen Assembly
8 No image.png Anas al-Abdah
29 June 2019[22] Incumbent Syrian National Council

Prime Ministers[edit]

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Political party Note(s)
Ghassan Hitto (cropped).jpg Ghassan Hitto
Acting Prime Minister
18 March 2013 14 September 2013 Independent
Failed to form a government;
resigned on 8 July.
1 Syrian Interim Government coat of arms.svg Ahmad Tu'mah 14 September 2013 22 July 2014[9] Independent
(1) Syrian Interim Government coat of arms.svg Ahmad Tu'mah 14 October 2014[23] 17 May 2016 Independent
Second term.
2 Jawad Abu Hatab.png Jawad Abu Hatab 17 May 2016 10 March 2019[24] Independent
3 Abdurrahman Mustafa STA.jpg Abdurrahman Mustafa 30 June 2019[25] 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[12] 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SyriaSource by Hosam al-Jablawi Has the International Community Succeeded in Creating a Safe Zone in Syria After Years of War? April 17, 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". 22 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  10. ^ a b "US gives $6 million to Syria opposition government". Agence France Presse. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b "A power struggle over education emerges between rival opposition governments in Idlib province". Syria Direct. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  13. ^ At least 13 persons including the minister of “interim government” killed in explosion at police station in Inkhel SOHR, 22 September 2016
  14. ^ ISIS suicide attack rocks rebel HQ in southern Syria Al Masdar, 22 September 2016
  15. ^ "The Syrian interim government stopped paying salaries and volunteering work". Micro Syria. 8 August 2017.
  16. ^ "30 rebel groups merge under Interim Govt's banner, form 'The National Army'". Zaman al-Wasl. 31 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Syria opposition names interim leader". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Syrian opposition bloc appoints new leader". Al Jazeera English. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Syrian Coalition Re-elects Presidential Body for 2nd Term". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Leading Syrian opposition body elects dissident Riad Seif as new chief". Middle East Eye. 6 May 2017.
  21. ^ [1] SMDK Başkanı Seyf istifa etti
  22. ^ "Anas Al Abde". National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ al-Khateb, Khaled (15 March 2019). "Is this the end of the Syrian Interim Government?". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  25. ^ "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.