But more than a year after the government broke the rebel hold there with a siege that reduced people to eating grass, much of the city remained nearly uninhabitable. The operation resulted in dozens killed and wounded. What does victory look like? [4], On 30 March, the SOHR reported that several attempts by the Army to retake areas in northern Latakia had been repelled by the rebels. You had the best food, the best.”, The owner, Abdel Ghani Mahmoud, didn’t recognize him at first. Harakat Sham al-Islam[1] The region has been relatively peaceful during the Syrian civil war, being a generally pro- Assad region that had remained under government control. In nearby Douma, which was rebel-held for most of the war, running water was still more aspiration than reality. Between Thursday and Sunday, at least 156 wildfires were reported in the coastal regions of Latakia and Tartus as well as the central Homs province, according to the UN Office for the … [118] The next day, Iranian Press TV claimed the Army had regained control of Jabal al-Haramiya. [80] Nineteen rebels and 16 soldiers were killed during the day's fighting[78] and 40 soldiers and 100 rebels were wounded. Zakiya Ahmad Hassan buried her son, Firas Mahmoud Ismail, in the backyard of their family home. Unfortunately it was severely damaged amid the shelling and bombing in the Syrian Civil War. Portraits of men who died fighting for Mr. al-Assad’s government lining a street in Latakia, a stronghold of the Syrian president. Our minders had been drawing closer, and at this they pounced. [22] The objectives of the offensive have been stated to be the taking over of all strategic observatories, government villages and the Mediterranean coast. They spent most of the war in a basement on the other side of town. “A veritable street war [is taking place] in Shreitah Project, reaching [as far as the area’s] seventh junction,” the Syrian Coastal News Network reported Monday night. Iran raises Cain in Ankara", "المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان الصفحة الرئيسية آخر الأخبار والتقارير عن سوريا والثورة السورية", "most of 8000 between the gunman dead and injured toll losses opposition Brive Latakia! And with so many men gone, this task has been left to the old, the very young and, especially, the women — including women from conservative families who are now working for the first time. [13] Meanwhile, Turkish media claimed the leader of the pro-government Syrian Resistance militia, Mihraç Ural, had been killed the previous day. [13] Pro-government sources claimed 500 rebels[29] and 50 soldiers had been killed since the start of the offensive, while the SOHR stated around 100 fighters on each side had died. According to Rana, our minder, its people never slept. First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri on January 28 *headed Iran’s most senior political delegation to Damascus, Syria since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. The battle of Latakia demonstrated to the world the power of the fast attack craft and the effectiveness of missile evasion techniques. [147] According to witnesses, the rebels had raped elderly women because they couldn't find any girls. On the drive north to Aleppo, burned-out vehicles lay upside-down on the side of the road, and gray-brown smoke swirled in the distance from one of the fires that had recently burned thousands of acres of crops. But safety had proved elusive for Um Ahmad, 28, who was sitting on her stoop with her sister at dusk, surrounded by shattered buildings. [3] Government forces launched a counter-attack in an attempt to recapture the crossing[55] and a security source stated the Army had retaken the previous day two police stations that were seized by the rebels. [49] Subsequently, the civilian populations of Kessab and its surrounding villages either fled or were evacuated, with most seeking safety in Latakia, as Kessab remained under the control of rebel groups. The city was held by rebels for most of Syria’s civil war.Credit...Meridith Kohut for The New York Times. Turkey denied the allegations as "totally unfounded and untrue", the Telegraph reported, but HRW's Fakih replied "it is not feasible that these groups could have crossed into Syria from where they did without the knowledge of the Turks. That’s what happened,” Um Ahmad said. [76] Rebels had also once again captured Observatory 45,[77] after a Tunisian suicide bomber in an armored troop carrier blew himself up[78] in the Observatory's yard killing a number of soldiers, including Colonel Samuel Ghannum, commander of Observatory 45. She shouldn’t be saying these things to journalists. “Assad Forever,” proclaimed a banner featuring Mr. Assad’s image, one of many strung over Syrian roads. Residential buildings destroyed during the war by government forces in eastern Aleppo. Only private hospitals had started to function again, perhaps because the government had repeatedly bombed hospitals and the public ones were still in ruins. [115], On 5 April, after midnight, government troops ambushed rebels on the road towards Al-Nab'in resulting in a number of deaths among opposition fighters,[105] while two Moroccan field commanders of Ahrar Al-Sham were killed in fighting in Kasab. [73] Meanwhile, fighting was still raging at Kasab, with the Army shelling the town and the Air force striking it four times around noon. It also reported the arrival of Hezbollah fighters in the area. Tell friends. [21][43] However, the rebels' established strategic bridgehead consisting of the town of Kessab and nearby territory remained. Rubble for cities, ghosts for neighbors. We — three journalists with The New York Times — had come to Syria to see what his victory looked like. As for the few friends and neighbors who remained, “we avoid seeing each other,” she said, “because we all have the same sad stories.”. I have no answers. The battle for both towns had been described as a seesaw one with both attacks and retreats. They had stopped going to the butcher. [144], On 15 June, the Syrian Army took control of Kasab, its border crossing, Al-Nab'in and Nab Al-Murr, fully reversing all opposition gains during the three-month campaign. The governorate was historically part of the Alawite State, which existed from 1920–1936.It was formerly part of Latakia governorate, but was split off circa 1972. [43], On 12 June, the military started a new offensive[137] and by the next day captured Hills 714, 767[138] and 803. “Every single day, he and the government follow up to check on the families of the martyrs.”. These were the best. “Even if the Americans sanction us, at least we can eat cucumbers and bread!” she said. We said our goodbyes out on the pulverized street, with Mr. Tohme looking around at what used to be, and somehow still was, his home. The leader of Al-Nusra for Latakia province was killed during the fighting. I’d had these dishes many times before, in Lebanon and now in Syria. Flames have raged across Latakia and Hama provinces for a week, destroying thousands of hectares of pine, citrus and olive trees, farmland and nature reserves, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a UK-based monitor of the conflict in Syria. Source: CNN [44][45], The Armenians of Kessab were previously victims of Turkish violence during the Hamidian massacres, Adana massacres and the Armenian Genocide, last two of which took place in the last century and involved the massacre of two millions of Armenians. Many non-Alawites assume the Alawites have been richly rewarded for their loyalty. “I never thought I’d work, but it’s better than having to go ask people for money,” said Um Akil, a 40-year-old woman in eastern Aleppo. [107] Opposition activists in Latakia claimed that the rebels repulsed an Army attack on Observatory 45. Four soldiers were killed and 75 wounded by mid-day, while an unknown number of rebels also died. [74] A military source denied the village had fallen stating that fighting was still ongoing and that the Army was in complete control of the mountains overlooking Al-Samra. Our government handlers multiplied when we drove to the coastal region of Latakia. [135], In mid-May, rebels reportedly recaptured Hills 53, 724 and 1013, as well as Seriatel and Al-Nab'in hills. It accused the Turkish government for "organizing, receiving, funding and hosting tens of thousands of terrorists from various Takfiri movements and facilitating their entry into the Syrian territories" and for providing the rebels with direct military support in the region. The 2013 Latakia offensive (called Operation Liberation of the Coast by the Free Syrian Army and its supporters and The Descendants of Aisha, Mother of the Believers by Jihadists) was a campaign during the Syrian civil war launched by Salafist and Jihadist rebel forces in the Latakia Governorate. Latakia, however, has remained quiet throughout the conflict in Syria. Palmer filed this report from Latakia - … [60], Turkey's opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu (CHP) claimed that the Syrian jet was a reconnaissance plane and that its downing was part of a government scheme to provoke war with Syria to divert attention from corruption scandals enveloping Turkey's president Erdogan and his party. [5] At this time, Barnabas Aid stated 80 Christian civilians were killed and thousands more displaced after rebel fighters captured Kasab;[96] however, a delegation from the Armenian National Assembly visited and interviewed refugees from Kessab who fled to Latakia and concluded that "fortunately, no casualties were reported on the Armenian side," though around 2500 were displaced. [24] A local rebel commander was also killed in other clashes, while "dozens of bodies" of pro-government fighters were reportedly bussed to the city of Tartous, according to opposition activist's claims. “Mr. [124], On 27 April, government forces captured a guard post near Al-Samra,[125] namely the town's police station,[126] after an amphibious assault from the sea. In nearby Douma, which was rebel-held for most of the war, running water was still more aspiration than reality. War has settled into an eerie rhythm in this part of Syria. Latakia is Syria's 'principal port city', and protests began here during 2011 against President Bashar al-Assad's government regime. [117], On 7 April, fighting erupted on the edges of the Jabal al-Haramiya area with government forces advancing. [82] At the same time, fighting continued around Kasab, Observatory 45 and Al-Samra[83] as the Army intensified its shelling on Kasab and Al-Samra. [38] Observers have stated a strategic aim was to force the Syrian army to redeploy forces to Latakia,[39][40] which would relieve pressure on other rebels elsewhere in Syria. The Phoenician city of Ramitha was located here. Most people we met watched what they said, closing their lips against talk of the past or future, their heads bent in the daily task of survival. Syrian-Armenian war correspondent Sarkis Kassargian believes taking control of Kessab means taking control of the border crossing with Turkey, which allows anti-government fighters to advance toward the coastline, and in turn strengthen their position on the ground. [116] It was reported that Latakia city was hit by two Grad missiles during the day. Medication was unaffordable. At this, Rana led her into the kitchen, where I could hear raised voices. With no reconstruction aid coming from international donors, the Syrians we met were doing what they could to patch the bullet holes in their walls, feed their children and find a paycheck. [140] The SOHR reported the military was moving towards nearby villages,[141] including Al-Nab'in,[142] while state TV already reported the capture of the town. A local source stated that clashes broke out between the Levant Front and al-Moaatsem Brigade due to a dispute over control of sectors within Nour Camp, north of Syria's Aleppo, killing one militant and wounding a civilian. According to a field report from the Latakia Governorate, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched airstrikes on the jihadist stronghold of Kabani, which has served as the headquarters for Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) in Jabal Al-Akrad. His image rippled on banners at the entrances to recaptured cities. [129] Government forces from Observatory 45 had also advanced, capturing Height 724 north of the Observatory. [34], The Syrian government called on the United Nations to halt the Turkish involvement in the Kasab region. Russian warplanes take off from the airbase in Latakia, Syria, the hub of operations for Moscow's air attacks against Islamist terror groups. [84] Another source also confirmed that the Army had beaten back the rebels from Observatory 45, but did not reoccupy it, instead securing the hill's surroundings. “We rediscovered the Gospel as being a message of hope in the middle of crisis,” Hanna says of ministering during war. [101] The SOHR confirmed the Army made progress in the area[102] and stated that government troops managed to install multiple rocket launcher on Observatory 45, but fighting was continuing in the vicinity of the hillside. The Syrian government has barred many of our New York Times colleagues and other news media outlets for reporting that it considers overly critical, and it had taken the three of us — me, a correspondent based in Beirut; my Lebanese interpreter; and an American photographer, Meridith Kohut — nearly half a year to obtain entry. [122][123], By 15 April, the FSA commander for Latakia province stated the offensive had stagnated after rebel forces had become exhausted due to the number of casualties they had endured and a shortage of ammunition. The fighters reportedly crossed into Syria from the Turkish village of Gözlekçiler. An operation in August 2011 was launched to end rebellion, and was successful. Some Kessab village guards reported that the Turkish military withdrew from its positions along the border shortly before the fighters crossed from Turkey. [88] The military intelligence head in Latakia province was reportedly able to escape after he was surrounded by rebels for five days in Al-Nab'in. “The same as I remember.”. I started eating and immediately forgot about refrigeration. They spoke of being unable to afford milk or baby formula, of the soaring cost of potatoes, oil and sugar. At least 11 rebels were killed in the fighting, while at least 20 pro-government fighters were killed and wounded. The sparks and chemicals irritated his eyes. source On live map. I wish I could find whoever destroyed this city. Rebels initially capture the Kasab border crossing and its strategic town, Syrian Army units and allied militias diverted to Latakia from Idlib, Hama and the ongoing, Observatory 45 hill changes hands several times before being captured by the Army, Government forces stall further rebel advances, This page was last edited on 24 December 2020, at 10:18. ", "Syria forces in heavy counterattack on rebels in Latakia", "Turkish F-16 shoots down a Syrian MiG-23", Syrian rebels seize strategic hill near Aleppo: NGO, "295 died yesterday, including 245 from the regular forces and combat battalions", "Syria rebels take coastal village in Assad heartland", "Syrian moderates try to rebuild opposition force", "Syrian rebels slowly advancing in Latakia", "In Assad's coastal heartland, Syria's war creeps closer", "Street by street, Assad extends grip in central Syria", "Syrian Armenians, who had been insulated from war, forced to flee after rebel offensive", "Armenians dismayed as Syrian rebels seize historic area, prompting residents to flee", "Syria: Kessab's battle and Armenians' history", "Turkish main opposition leader warns over military strike in Syria", "The Telegraph reveals Turkish role in the attack on Armenian-populated Kessab", "Fall of Kassab will be costly for Turkey", "Kessab Targeted by Al-Qaeda Front Groups in Cross-Border Attack from Turkey, "Rebels Reassure Christians After Capturing Key Syrian Border Town", "24 killed as rebels fight to take Syria border post", "Casualties in the countryside of Lattakia", "Victory announces the start of a battle in the Anfal coast and clashes in the win", "Syrian troops and rebels clash near Turkish border", "Syria fighting rages in Assad's home province", "Third day of fighting at Syria-Turkey border crossing", "More than 20 martyrs and the continued clashes in the countryside of Lattakia", Syria says Turkey shoots down Syrian warplane, "Turkey shoots down Syrian regime plane after violating airspace, PM confirms", "Turkey shoots down Syrian plane it says violated air space", "Opposition forces seize multiple villages in Latakia", "Provide for regular troops in the countryside of Lattakia", "Syrian paramilitary commander killed in Latakia", "Cousin of Syria's President Assad reportedly killed by rebels", "Rebels seize border village as regime warplanes bomb frontier", "Syrian forces battle rebels near Turkey border crossing", "Syrian Rebels Capture Town Near Turkish Border", "Reports cite 80 dead in Kessab; Churches desecrated", "Syria rebels launch northern offensive after heavy losses", "Syria rebels take coastal village in Al Assad heartland – NGO", "Syrian army ousts militants from border town of Kesab", "Clashes are taking place in Kessab-Shahan Kantaharian", Activists: Syrian rebels seize coastal area, "Violent clashes in the countryside of Lattakia", "Agaydada prominent Saudi Abdullah Mahiseny speaking from the top of the observatory 45", "Syrian missile system "harasses" Turkish F-16 jets: statement", "Syrian Rebels and Army Clash Over Coastal Town", Fierce fighting raging in Syria's Latakia, "Syrian rebels battle deeper into coastal province", "Syria complains to the UN over Turkish "aggression, Activists: Syrian warplanes bomb rebels in Latakia, "Clashes continue in Lattakia countryside", "Syrian forces regain control over highlands on border with Turkey", "Activists: Syrian warplanes bomb rebels in Latakia", "Regime fights back against rebel gains in Latakia", "Hot battles continue in surrounding of Samra village", "Head of the military intelligence in Latakia province escaped after being surrounded", "more than 150 regular forces killed in Lattakia countryside", "Syrians rally in support of rebels' coastal offensive", "Regime tries to rally on coast after taking Qalamoun villages", "Syrian Islamists Kill 80 Christians, Displace Thousands More", "Tevan Poghosyan: "No casualties reported in Kessab on the Armenian side, "More than 1000 killed and wounded in the clashes in Latakia", "Syrian army pounds rebels in Assad's home province", "Turkey fires into Syria after shelling damages mosque", "Shelling and clashes in Latakia and Hama clashes South Mork", "Syrian army retakes key post in Latakia", "Turkish military fires into Syria after rocket hits mosque", "Syria opposition says chief visits Latakia", "Reef Latakia witnessing violent clashes and arrival of reinforcements", "استعادة مقاتلون من شام الاسلام السيطرة على مباني بالمرصد45", "Fighting rages in Syria's Latakia: activists", "Al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri eulogized Abu Khalid al Suri...", "Un centenar de morts en combats entre els rebels i l'Exèrcit a Síria", "Clashes continued in the countryside of Lattakia", "مقتل 8 عناصر من القوات النظامية وجرح اكثر من 15 في اللاذقية", "Rebels take northern town on main highway", "The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front clashed with regime forces...", "سقوط صاروخ غراد في بساتين الريحان بمدينة اللاذقية", "Violent clashes in the vicinity of Mount thieves Brive Latakia", "Syrian army seizes strategic mountain in Latakia", "Violent clashes and martyrs in Lattakia and Kalamoon", "Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Takes Back Strategic Mountains in Eastern Syria", "Commander of the Western Front and Central :: 398 thousand dollars given to battles Coast", "Site of Al-Samra Police Station in Lattakia under Army's Control", "Syrian Army Regains Control over Height 724 in Latakia", "Syria: Summary fights for April 28, 2014", "#BreakingNews #Syria #Lattakia #Kessab #SAA #Hezbollah:...", "2/ #Syria #Kessab: SOHR confirmed Nab'ayn,...", "1/ #BreakingNews #Syria #Kessab #Lattakia:", "Syrian Army Advances in Kasab, Strikes Nusra Terrorists in Rankous", "Withdrawal of fighters from the front and the victory of the Islamic battalions town win", "Al-Nusra jihadists pull out Syria's Kesab city seized in March", "NGO: Syria rebels, jihadists withdraw from town near Turkey", "Syria rebels withdraw from border town near Turkey", "System controls the gain and Mabrha and bitter spring", "Clashes in the win and martyrs in Daraa", "Armenian Homes in Kessab Looted, Occupied", "No, the United States Isn't Dropping Syria's Jihadis From Its Terror List", "Turkish opposition leader says Erdogan wants war with Syria", "Fear of war grips Turkish border province", "Serzh Sargsyan makes press statement on Kessab in The Hague", http://www.aaainc.org/index.php?id=7&no_cache=1&newsID=491, http://www.mediamax.am/en/news/politics/9769/, "Armenian expert in Turkish affairs accuses West of inaction over Kessab Armenians", "Latakia not a safe place – Kessab Armenians on evacuation, looting and rapes", "Photos of ruined Armenian churches of Kessab appear in internet", "Syrian Armenians: Terrorists burnt all Armenian churches in Kessab", Rebels Robbing Homes, Desecrating Churches in Kessab, Syria, Canada Concerned by Attacks on Armenian Town in Syria, "Babayan: Through subversive attacks, Turkey tries to make Armenians leave Syria", "Russia Denounced War on Syria and Ethnic Cleansing of Armenian Syrians in Kessab and Lattakia", http://www.lragir.am/index/eng/0/politics/view/32240, "Chechnya's President condemns attackers on Syrian town of Kesab – News – World – The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video", "Lawmakers, Armenians urge U.S. to investigate attack on Syrian city", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2014_Latakia_offensive&oldid=996068903, Military operations of the Syrian civil war in 2014, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving the al-Nusra Front, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving the Free Syrian Army, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving the Syrian government, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving Hezbollah, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving Turkey, Pages with login required references or sources, Articles with dead external links from June 2016, Pages using military navigation subgroups without wide style, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Unknown top provincial Al-Nusra commander. 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Their homes presided over the destruction had a slow-but-steady trickle of customers looking for and! 3Rd century Ahmad that it was still more aspiration than reality us from house to house relations too elderly move!

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