Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree on the formation of a new government on Saturday, but kept on the heads of its interior, defence and foreign ministries, state television reported.
The Defence Minister Daoud Rajha, 64, in office since August, also retained his post. He was among those sanctioned by the United States over the violent repression by the regime of the protest movement.
Syria's state news agency says there are two figures from the opposition group are in the new Syrian government. Leader of the National Front for Change Qadri Jamil has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy, and leader of Social National party Ali Haydar has assumed the newly-created post of National Reconciliation Minister.
"The move was part of the reforms promised by the Syrian president to the international community," Syria's TV report.
On the ground, Shabiha and regime forces shelled the town of Deir ez-Zor in the east, killing 28 people in total, reported on Saturday Syrian NGOs. According to them, Shabiha loyal to President Bashar al-Assad attacked several buildings in the vicinity of the old airport of Deir ez-Zor. Women and children were among the victims.
The Associated Press reported two civilians were killed in the city of Hama in a dawn ambush by regime forces, and a third was killed when clashes broke out between troops and rebels elsewhere in Hama province.
Meanwhile, the UK newspaper Guardian reported on Friday that the Saudi government will pay the salaries of members of the Free Syrian Army amid ongoing attacks carried out by armed groups inside Syria.
According to the report, the plan has been discussed between officials from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the USA.
The report also said Turkey is involved in the funding as it provides logistic support for the rebels allowing Free Syrian Army to use its territory as a base.
It is worth mentioning that on Feb. 24, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said during a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Tunisia that supplying weapons to Syrian rebels is “an excellent idea".