In Assad’s coastal heartland, Syria’s war creeps closer

download 1 In Assads coastal heartland, Syrias war creeps closer

For three years, residents of Syria’s Mediterranean provinces have watched from their coastal sanctuary as civil war raging further inland tore the country apart, killing tens of thousands of people and devastating historic cities.

But a three-week-old offensive by rebel fighters in the north of Latakia province, a bastion of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite minority, has brought the battle ever closer and shattered that sense of relative security.

Rebels are now fighting in the hills overlooking the sea, bringing the country’s main port of Latakia within their range – rocket-fire killed eight people in one barrage on the city a month ago – and Syria’s coast feels under real threat.

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