Report: Syrian Navy Shells Port City
August 14, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
DAMASCUS, Syria, Aug. 14 (UPI) — The Syrian navy opened fire on rebel positions in the western port city of Latakia from ships in the Mediterranean Sea, a rights group said Sunday.
Rami Abdel Rahman, president of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based in London, told CNN at least five people had been killed by artillery fire and heavy machine gun fire from the ships.
Rahman said information being texted and posted from neighborhoods in the city said two people were killed Saturday when the naval barrage started.
He said the areas being targeted are mostly densely residential that are already heavily patrolled by army forces and “mass organized resistance is difficult.”
The city has a Sunni Muslim majority and was one of the first areas to stage protests that began in March to bring down the hard-line Alawite-minority government of President Bashar Assad.
There has been widespread international condemnation of Assad’s use of the military against civilians, although no intervention has been launched similar to NATO’s deployment in Libya, facing similar anti-government rebellion.