Syria's Assad sacks PM Khamis

Imad Khamis had been Syria's prime minister since 2016

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday sacked his prime minister of four years, Imad Khamis, as the country grappled with a stinging economic crisis and renewed protests.

"President Assad issues decree number 143 for year 2020 which relieves the prime minister Imad Muhammad Dib Khamis of his position," the presidency said in a statement.

Khamis, 58, had been Syria's prime minister since 2016.

He is replaced by Water Resources Minister Hussein Arnous for an interim period leading to legislative polls that are scheduled to be held on July 19.

"Assad assigns... Hussein Arnous the duties of prime minister as well as his (other) duties," the presidency said.

"The government is continuing with its work until a new parliament is elected."

Khamis' sacking comes after sharp criticism of his government's performance over its handling of the economic crisis.

The value of the Syrian pound has plummeted with dizzying speed in recent days on the informal market, sending prices skyrocketing, shuttering shops, and sparking unprecedented protests.

Imad Khamis had been Syria's prime minister since 2016