Assad turns gunships on own people
Published 15/08/2011 | 05:00
SYRIAN ships shelled the port city of Latakia yesterday, as President Bashar al-Assad used the navy to attack his own people for the first time.
While gunships blasted waterfront districts just across the Mediterranean from the tourist beaches of Cyprus, ground troops backed by tanks stormed several neighbourhoods, activists reported.
"I can see the silhouettes of two grey vessels. They are firing their guns and the impact is landing on al-Raml al-Filistini and al-Shaab neighbourhoods," a witness said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 23 people were killed and dozens more wounded.
Latakia is a key strategic asset where Iran has agreed to fund a military base to facilitate arms deliveries.
August has seen a surge in attacks by Mr Assad's forces. (© Daily Telegraph, London)