Syrian Rebels Seize Another Coastal Village, Nearing Latakia

Fall of Major Port Would Delay Chemical Weapons Shipments

Fresh off of yesterday’s capture of a Christian town along the Turkish border, Syrian rebels continue their push in the coastal Latakia Province, seizing the village of Samra and moving ever closer to Latakia itself.

On the one hand, the rebels are particularly keen to capture the village of Qardaha as a PR victory, since the village is the home of President Bashar Assad’s family.

That may be a minor prize, in practice, compared to taking Latakia itself, which is a major port and is also where trucks are sending the remnants of Syria’s chemical arsenal for shipment abroad and disincoporation.

The loss of Latakia would be a major blow to the disarmament program, and would almost certain mean a prolonged delay as Syria, already struggling to get trucks into Latakia as it is, would have to find another route to the sea.

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.