BEIRUT, July 18 (Reuters) - Syria appointed General Fahad Jassim al-Freij as defense minister, state television said, to replace Daoud Rajha who was killed in a bomb attack on Wednesday.

Freij, who was previously the chief of staff of the armed forces, is from the province of Hama, a centre of unrest in the 16-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.