July 24, 2012 - 19:21 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Syria has named General Ali Mamluk as the new head of its national security office in a shakeup of the security services after a bombing killed four top regime figures last week, AFP said.
"General Ali Mamluk, who was head of state security, is becoming the head of the bureau of national security, with the rank of minister, overseeing the entire security apparatus," the source said.
"He will report directly to President Bashar al-Assad," the source added.
General Rustom Ghazali, the former director of military security in Damascus, has been named chief of political security, the source said, replacing Deeb Zaytun, who will take over Mamluk's former post as head of state security.
The shake-up follows a July 18 attack, claimed by rebel forces battling Assad's regime, which targeted the government's security leadership.
The attack killed Defense Minister Daoud Rajha, Assad's brother-in-law Assad Shawkat, national security chief Hisham Ikhtiyar and Hassan Turkoman, head of the crisis cell set up to tackle the uprising against the regime.
"Until now, the security services were spread among different ministers: the military intelligence and those of the army and the air force under the minister of defense, the political intelligence under the interior ministry and the state security with the presidency," the source said.
"A process of centralization was underway, but it was of course accelerated by the attack."
Assad's father and predecessor, Hafez al-Assad, created multiple intelligence services whose rivalry made it more difficult for any forces to engage in a coup.
In the wake of the uprising, President Assad has forced his regime to consolidate those multiple services, in a bid to protect the increasingly embattled government.