Syria Regime Holds Hundreds Prisoner in Latakia Soccer Stadium

Tanks Continue to Pour Into City as Refugee Crisis Looms

Syrian troops continue to attack civilian areas across the northern port city of Latakia today, and reports are growing that the soccer stadium which they ordered civilians into earlier this week has become a makeshift prison camp.

According to one resident, the military has been bussing dissidents arrested across the city, including people detained at random, to the Sports City complex. What happens once they are inside is unclear.

The regime’s navy attacked the port this weekend, killing at least 31 people, and on Monday troops ordered everyone out of a key protest neighborhood, saying it was going to be destroyed and that they should all relocate to the stadium. Since then the stadium has gotten more and more full.

Though the naval attacks seem to have ended, the ground troops are still adding to their presence in the city, with reports of more tanks massing in the center of town. After the massacres earlier this month in Hama, masses of troops are of particular concern.

With Latakia still firmly in their sites, the Syrian regime is also escalating in Aleppo, where troops opened fire on protesters today. The attacks have UN officials fleeing the country and are raising international calls for a halt to weapons sales, though Russia insists it will continue to arm the regime.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.