Tags: Syria | syria | rebel | commander | assad

Syrian Rebel Commander Visits Front in Assad's Home Province

Monday, 12 Aug 2013 05:39 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
BEIRUT — The head of the rebel Free Syrian Army has visited the coastal province of Latakia, according to video footage, a show of force in President Bashar al-Assad's family's home province.

Several villages in Latakia, which is a stronghold of Assad's Alawite sect, have been overrun by Sunni Muslim insurgents over the past few days.

General Salim Idriss, who leads the rebel Supreme Military Council, was shown in a video uploaded to the Internet on Sunday wearing casual dress and a shoulder-strapped gun holster and standing outside with mountains in the distance.

Speaking to rebels, he said he was in Latakia to see the "important successes and victories that our revolutionaries have gained on the coastal front".

Reuters cannot independently verify reports due to severe security and reporting restrictions.

Idriss' forces are backed by the West, but the Latakia offensive is being led by two al Qaida-linked groups who have killed hundreds of people this month and driven hundreds more to seek refuge on the Mediterranean coast.

Underfunded and fragmented, Idriss' men have been overshadowed by these hardline groups and some more moderate rebel leaders have been killed in power struggles with al Qaida affiliates that include foreign fighters.

One group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, issued a statement on Sunday saying its Islamist militants were now "a stone's throw from Qurdaha", the Assad family's hometown. It said the militants had fired rockets into the town.

The rebel advance into Alawite territory is a major gain for Assad's foes after months of setbacks during which they lost ground around the capital Damascus and the central city of Homs.

Combined with a steady fight back in the southern province of Deraa, it highlights the challenge Assad faces in trying to restore his authority across Syria after two years of conflict that has killed 100,000 people and fragmented the country.

Assad controls much of southern and central Syria, while rebels hold northern areas near the Turkish border and along the Euphrates valley towards Iraq. The northeast corner is now an increasingly autonomous Kurdish region.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

UN: Uncertain If All Iranian Nuke Work Is Peaceful

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 12:42 PM

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency is sounding a note of caution about Iran's claims that it is not interested in nucle . . .

Jews Buy Homes in Contested Arab Area of Jerusalem

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 06:56 AM

Residents in a contested neighborhood of east Jerusalem say Jewish settlers have moved into two buildings - a step that  . . .

'Bad Hijab' Link to Acid Attacks on Iranian Women

Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 10:17 AM

A series of acid attacks on women in the historic Iranian city of Isfahan has raised fears and prompted rumours that the . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved