ON ASSAD’S HOME TURF: The leader of the Free Syrian Army, Salim Idris, toured parts of Latakia province Sunday, inspecting the armed opposition’s new front lines.
Idris vowed that the battle for Latakia would be extended to the entire province, refuting allegations by some revolutionary activists that the FSA was holding back from pushing beyond the 11 Alawite villages taken over the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.“We will be providing [weapons] to the coastal front and will increase their provision in the short term,” said the Brigadier General and Chairman of the FSA Joint Command from Kefr Dablleh in Jabal al-Akrad, captured last week by rebels.
The coastal region is considered the likely site of an Alawite rump state should Assad and his forces be ousted from Damascus.
A statement released by the FSA on Friday stressed their Latakia “operations are specifically military, and exclusively target security checkpoints, military barracks, and shabiha battalions.” The statement emphasized that the rebels “will not target civilians anywhere, as [their] job is to protect them everywhere.”
The statement added, “FSA hospitals are ready to receive any injuries whether they are civilians or military men.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which documents casualties in the conflict, reported Sunday that the Latakia towns of Salma and Jabal al-Akrad have been under regime bombardment with no reports of deaths so far.
Meanwhile Hezbollah channel Al-Manar disputed accounts of FSA gains in the province, reporting that the Syrian army has “caused the armed rebels huge losses, especially in Salma village as it is the main base of the rebels.”