Syria: Islamists Advance towards Assad Bastion of Latakia

(Asharq Al-Awsat-UK) Syrian Islamist opposition groups seized 11 Alawite-dominated villages along the Syrian coast on Monday, prompting civilians to flee to the city of Latakia. Largely Sunni rebel groups, including the Al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham Al-Islami (Islamic Movement of the Free Men of the Levant), attacked several pro-Assad villages with mortars and Grad missiles before storming them. The rebels kidnapped a prominent Alawite cleric and Assad supporter, Badr Eddine Ghazal. Elsewhere, Islamist opposition groups continued to attack Aleppo's central prison, one of the two main prisons where political prisoners are held. The offensive started on Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated a large amount of TNT near the prison, and fighting continued throughout the weekend. This is the second time that the prison has been targeted by the Syrian opposition. In May the rebels captured one building but were forced to retreat a day later when regime troops began shooting prisoners and throwing them out of the windows.

2013-08-07 00:00:00

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