Daily Israel Report

Assad Sending Reinforcements to Latakia

The Syrian regime is sending reinforcements to the countryside near Latakia, which has come under heavy rebel attacks in recent days.
By Dalit Halevi & Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/13/2013, 5:12 AM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
AFP photo

The Syrian regime is sending reinforcements to the countryside near Latakia, an area which has come under heavy rebel attacks in recent days.

The rebels have already managed to conquer more than ten Alawite villages in this area. Last week the rebel forces launched an offensive against President Bashar Al-Assad’s troops in the rural area of Latakia, in an attempt to increase pressure on the Assad regime and cause it to allocate forces to the region, thus disconnecting Latakia and Tartus, strongholds of the Alawite regime, from Idlib and Aleppo.

By applying pressure on the Alawite minority in Syria the rebels are hoping to incite a rebellion within the Alawite community against Assad. This way, they hope, the Alawites will turn on Assad in an attempt to save themselves from the revenge of the rebels.

On Monday it was reported that the Syrian army had moved 25 tanks, 23 armored vehicles, more than 300 light military vehicles, 25 ammunition trucks and about 2,000 fighters towards Latakia.

On Sunday, the Syrian rebels claimed that they had killed at least 42 Hezbollah terrorists who were fighting with soldiers loyal to Assad on behalf of Iran.

The deaths were reported by Arab television station Al-Arabiya, which quoted a rebel leader as saying that the operation was a “high quality one.”

Over the past several weeks, a second civil war has begun brewing in war-ravaged Syria, between the more moderate, Western-backed rebel groups and the Islamist extremist groups.

If that was not enough, Syrian Kurds have been targeted by the jihadist rebels as well. This caused the president of the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq to issue a warning to jihadist groups in northern Syria.

Masoud Barzani called on Kurdish parties in Iraq to launch an investigation into alleged massacres by Islamists against Syria's Kurdish population, warning that if such reports were found to be true, the KRG would intervene directly to defend their Kurdish brethren.