God forgive whoever was behind this.”, Then she burst out: “Forgive them, don’t forgive them, what difference does it make? Almost everywhere we went, we were chaperoned by government minders, several soldiers and armed plainclothes agents from Syria’s powerful intelligence apparatus. On one block, blackened chandeliers visible through huge gashes in one building mutely testified to Douma’s broken middle class. Some Kessab village guards reported that the Turkish military withdrew from its positions along the border shortly before the fighters crossed from Turkey. [52][54] Rebels had also captured the Jabal al-Nisr mountain, but it was recaptured by the military within hours. The Syrian government has barred many of our New York Times colleagues and other news media outlets for reporting that it considers overly critical, and it had taken the three of us — me, a correspondent based in Beirut; my Lebanese interpreter; and an American photographer, Meridith Kohut — nearly half a year to obtain entry. [122][123], By 15 April, the FSA commander for Latakia province stated the offensive had stagnated after rebel forces had become exhausted due to the number of casualties they had endured and a shortage of ammunition. Source: CNN [49], Mehmet Ali Ediboğlu, MP of Turkish CHP party, who visited the area several days after the attack began, said locals told him that "thousands of fighters coming from Turkey crossed the border at at least five different points to launch the attack on Kassab." [150], The offense has been widely compared to the Hamidian massacres and Armenian Genocide, as over 70% of Kessab's population is Armenian and is one of the last Armenian settlements in the Cilicia region, where the Armenian population had been massacred twice by Turkey. [135], In mid-May, rebels reportedly recaptured Hills 53, 724 and 1013, as well as Seriatel and Al-Nab'in hills. [13] Meanwhile, Turkish media claimed the leader of the pro-government Syrian Resistance militia, Mihraç Ural, had been killed the previous day. They spent most of the war in a basement on the other side of town. A man selling watermelon in front of buildings destroyed by government forces in eastern Aleppo. A few flies did laps around the dining area. He had died in an airstrike. the government had repeatedly bombed hospitals. The stated aim of the offensive was to conquer Al-Haffah city, but government … They spoke of being unable to afford milk or baby formula, of the soaring cost of potatoes, oil and sugar. [81], On 26 March, rebels slowly pressed their advance from Observatory 45 and attacked the town of Qastal Maaf. The 2014 Latakia offensive is an ongoing rebel offensive in the Latakia Governorate launched on 21 March 2014 by rebel Islamist groups including Al-Nusra Front, which called the offensive "Anfal", while another coalition of rebel groups called the offensive "The Martyrs Mothers". On the drive north to Aleppo, burned-out vehicles lay upside-down on the side of the road, and gray-brown smoke swirled in the distance from one of the fires that had recently burned thousands of acres of crops. “The same as I remember.”. The military had also evacuated from Nab al-Murr, due to the town's vulnerability to rebel shelling from Observatory 45 and Jabal al-Nisr. Search six million images spanning more than 25,000 years of world history, from before the Stone Age to the dawn of the Space Age and find the perfect picture for your project from Granger. [61] Opposition sources claimed that over 20 soldiers surrendered to the rebels in the village of Nab Al-Murr after a three-hour siege on a building. LEXINGTON, Kentucky — At the Presbyterian Church of Latakia, Syria, the Rev. [77] The Turkish Army accused the Syrian government of "harassing" five Turkish F-16 fighter jets with surface-to-air missile systems. [6] The pilot ejected safely, according to a Syrian military spokesman, who also claimed that the plane was in Syrian airspace;[59] Turkish officials, however, claimed it violated their airspace. ", "Syria forces in heavy counterattack on rebels in Latakia", "Turkish F-16 shoots down a Syrian MiG-23", Syrian rebels seize strategic hill near Aleppo: NGO, "295 died yesterday, including 245 from the regular forces and combat battalions", "Syria rebels take coastal village in Assad heartland", "Syrian moderates try to rebuild opposition force", "Syrian rebels slowly advancing in Latakia", "In Assad's coastal heartland, Syria's war creeps closer", "Street by street, Assad extends grip in central Syria", "Syrian Armenians, who had been insulated from war, forced to flee after rebel offensive", "Armenians dismayed as Syrian rebels seize historic area, prompting residents to flee", "Syria: Kessab's battle and Armenians' history", "Turkish main opposition leader warns over military strike in Syria", "The Telegraph reveals Turkish role in the attack on Armenian-populated Kessab", "Fall of Kassab will be costly for Turkey", "Kessab Targeted by Al-Qaeda Front Groups in Cross-Border Attack from Turkey, "Rebels Reassure Christians After Capturing Key Syrian Border Town", "24 killed as rebels fight to take Syria border post", "Casualties in the countryside of Lattakia", "Victory announces the start of a battle in the Anfal coast and clashes in the win", "Syrian troops and rebels clash near Turkish border", "Syria fighting rages in Assad's home province", "Third day of fighting at Syria-Turkey border crossing", "More than 20 martyrs and the continued clashes in the countryside of Lattakia", Syria says Turkey shoots down Syrian warplane, "Turkey shoots down Syrian regime plane after violating airspace, PM confirms", "Turkey shoots down Syrian plane it says violated air space", "Opposition forces seize multiple villages in Latakia", "Provide for regular troops in the countryside of Lattakia", "Syrian paramilitary commander killed in Latakia", "Cousin of Syria's President Assad reportedly killed by rebels", "Rebels seize border village as regime warplanes bomb frontier", "Syrian forces battle rebels near Turkey border crossing", "Syrian Rebels Capture Town Near Turkish Border", "Reports cite 80 dead in Kessab; Churches desecrated", "Syria rebels launch northern offensive after heavy losses", "Syria rebels take coastal village in Al Assad heartland – NGO", "Syrian army ousts militants from border town of Kesab", "Clashes are taking place in Kessab-Shahan Kantaharian", Activists: Syrian rebels seize coastal area, "Violent clashes in the countryside of Lattakia", "Agaydada prominent Saudi Abdullah Mahiseny speaking from the top of the observatory 45", "Syrian missile system "harasses" Turkish F-16 jets: statement", "Syrian Rebels and Army Clash Over Coastal Town", Fierce fighting raging in Syria's Latakia, "Syrian rebels battle deeper into coastal province", "Syria complains to the UN over Turkish "aggression, Activists: Syrian warplanes bomb rebels in Latakia, "Clashes continue in Lattakia countryside", "Syrian forces regain control over highlands on border with Turkey", "Activists: Syrian warplanes bomb rebels in Latakia", "Regime fights back against rebel gains in Latakia", "Hot battles continue in surrounding of Samra village", "Head of the military intelligence in Latakia province escaped after being surrounded", "more than 150 regular forces killed in Lattakia countryside", "Syrians rally in support of rebels' coastal offensive", "Regime tries to rally on coast after taking Qalamoun villages", "Syrian Islamists Kill 80 Christians, Displace Thousands More", "Tevan Poghosyan: "No casualties reported in Kessab on the Armenian side, "More than 1000 killed and wounded in the clashes in Latakia", "Syrian army pounds rebels in Assad's home province", "Turkey fires into Syria after shelling damages mosque", "Shelling and clashes in Latakia and Hama clashes South Mork", "Syrian army retakes key post in Latakia", "Turkish military fires into Syria after rocket hits mosque", "Syria opposition says chief visits Latakia", "Reef Latakia witnessing violent clashes and arrival of reinforcements", "استعادة مقاتلون من شام الاسلام السيطرة على مباني بالمرصد45", "Fighting rages in Syria's Latakia: activists", "Al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri eulogized Abu Khalid al Suri...", "Un centenar de morts en combats entre els rebels i l'Exèrcit a Síria", "Clashes continued in the countryside of Lattakia", "مقتل 8 عناصر من القوات النظامية وجرح اكثر من 15 في اللاذقية", "Rebels take northern town on main highway", "The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front clashed with regime forces...", "سقوط صاروخ غراد في بساتين الريحان بمدينة اللاذقية", "Violent clashes in the vicinity of Mount thieves Brive Latakia", "Syrian army seizes strategic mountain in Latakia", "Violent clashes and martyrs in Lattakia and Kalamoon", "Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Takes Back Strategic Mountains in Eastern Syria", "Commander of the Western Front and Central :: 398 thousand dollars given to battles Coast", "Site of Al-Samra Police Station in Lattakia under Army's Control", "Syrian Army Regains Control over Height 724 in Latakia", "Syria: Summary fights for April 28, 2014", "#BreakingNews #Syria #Lattakia #Kessab #SAA #Hezbollah:...", "2/ #Syria #Kessab: SOHR confirmed Nab'ayn,...", "1/ #BreakingNews #Syria #Kessab #Lattakia:", "Syrian Army Advances in Kasab, Strikes Nusra Terrorists in Rankous", "Withdrawal of fighters from the front and the victory of the Islamic battalions town win", "Al-Nusra jihadists pull out Syria's Kesab city seized in March", "NGO: Syria rebels, jihadists withdraw from town near Turkey", "Syria rebels withdraw from border town near Turkey", "System controls the gain and Mabrha and bitter spring", "Clashes in the win and martyrs in Daraa", "Armenian Homes in Kessab Looted, Occupied", "No, the United States Isn't Dropping Syria's Jihadis From Its Terror List", "Turkish opposition leader says Erdogan wants war with Syria", "Fear of war grips Turkish border province", "Serzh Sargsyan makes press statement on Kessab in The Hague", http://www.aaainc.org/index.php?id=7&no_cache=1&newsID=491, http://www.mediamax.am/en/news/politics/9769/, "Armenian expert in Turkish affairs accuses West of inaction over Kessab Armenians", "Latakia not a safe place – Kessab Armenians on evacuation, looting and rapes", "Photos of ruined Armenian churches of Kessab appear in internet", "Syrian Armenians: Terrorists burnt all Armenian churches in Kessab", Rebels Robbing Homes, Desecrating Churches in Kessab, Syria, Canada Concerned by Attacks on Armenian Town in Syria, "Babayan: Through subversive attacks, Turkey tries to make Armenians leave Syria", "Russia Denounced War on Syria and Ethnic Cleansing of Armenian Syrians in Kessab and Lattakia", http://www.lragir.am/index/eng/0/politics/view/32240, "Chechnya's President condemns attackers on Syrian town of Kesab – News – World – The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video", "Lawmakers, Armenians urge U.S. to investigate attack on Syrian city", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2014_Latakia_offensive&oldid=996068903, Military operations of the Syrian civil war in 2014, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving the al-Nusra Front, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving the Free Syrian Army, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving the Syrian government, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving Hezbollah, Military operations of the Syrian civil war involving Turkey, Pages with login required references or sources, Articles with dead external links from June 2016, Pages using military navigation subgroups without wide style, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Unknown top provincial Al-Nusra commander. [13] Fighting was also still raging around Al-Samra. [59] Turkish officials, however, claimed it violated their airspace. Junud al-Sham[2] The Citadel of Aleppo is under the 1986 UNESCO world heritage sites. “Anything for Syria’s sake,” he said, his eyes flicking toward the general, who nodded approvingly. The city has not experienced as much of the devastating civil war as other cities because the Assad government has defended it vigorously. Visiting five government-held cities and villages over eight days in June, we found ruin and generosity, people grieving and people getting through the day. Later, I complained to the information minister about the profusion of chaperones. Shopping malls for some, homegrown cucumbers for others. What does victory look like? [43], On 12 June, the military started a new offensive[137] and by the next day captured Hills 714, 767[138] and 803. They had stopped going to the butcher. The restaurant was empty except for a stooped chef in a corner. After eight years of civil war, the Syrian government now controls much of the country, and on Tuesday it appeared closer than ever to seizing control of Idlib, the last of the rebels’ territory. And his proxies were always present on our trip. [110], On 4 April, the SOHR reported that 64 rebels, including 40 foreign fighters, and 35 government soldiers were killed in fighting for Observatory 45 over the previous two days. “A veritable street war [is taking place] in Shreitah Project, reaching [as far as the area’s] seventh junction,” the Syrian Coastal News Network reported Monday night. [147][155] Armed men entered the town, looted Armenian shops and homes, taking families hostage, and desecrating the town's three churches. [13] Fighting around Observatory 45 continued. Siege of Latakia Part of the Civil uprising phase of the Syrian civil war Location Latakia, Syria … At dinnertime our first night in Aleppo, our driver, Abu Abdo, said he knew a few places to eat near our hotel from his prewar days taking tourists to the city. I wish I could find whoever destroyed this city. We do it differently. [115], On 5 April, after midnight, government troops ambushed rebels on the road towards Al-Nab'in resulting in a number of deaths among opposition fighters,[105] while two Moroccan field commanders of Ahrar Al-Sham were killed in fighting in Kasab. [4], On 30 March, the SOHR reported that several attempts by the Army to retake areas in northern Latakia had been repelled by the rebels. [84] Another source also confirmed that the Army had beaten back the rebels from Observatory 45, but did not reoccupy it, instead securing the hill's surroundings. In the government stronghold of Latakia, on the Mediterranean coast, mothers wept beneath photographs of dead sons. “I never thought I’d work, but it’s better than having to go ask people for money,” said Um Akil, a 40-year-old woman in eastern Aleppo. [72], On 25 March, rebels captured Al-Samra[73] and were reportedly advancing towards Anfal. [99], During the day, government forces made an attempt to advance towards Kasab as the rebel offensive started to stagnate[100] and state TV made a live report from near the hilltop of Observatory 45 claiming the Army had recaptured it. [147] Some of the rebels had spoken in Turkish. The Turkish F-16's intercepted four Syrian aircraft approaching Turkish airspace in Yayladagi and Cilvegozu of Hatay province in southern Turkey before the incident occurred. Mahmoud, do you remember me?” he asked. Looting, burning, cutting: How a decade of war has shrunk Syria’s forests No more swimming in Latakia; Syrians are strangers in their own country Podcast “Thawriyya”: An enduring revolution for Syrian women activists Now, it had fallen to survivors like Um Khalil, a 59-year-old, round-faced grandmother, to reckon with their absence. But safety had proved elusive for Um Ahmad, 28, who was sitting on her stoop with her sister at dusk, surrounded by shattered buildings. Three of her sons had been killed. In the government stronghold of Latakia, on … No one seemed to know who was responsible, only that Syria’s hunger pangs seemed destined to grow worse. Some Kessab village guards reported that the Turkish military withdrew from its positions along the border shortly before the fighters crossed from Turkey. [68] However, according to a military source, neither side had control of the village and the situation was unclear. [97] According to the SOHR, 1,052 fighters from both sides had been killed and wounded since the start of the offensive. There were people who couldn’t afford doors or windows, people living with so little electricity they just sat outside every night until bedtime. In a rare public appearance, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad inspected the destruction caused by the recent wildfires in the coastal province of Latakia, state media outlets reported on Tuesday. [58], On 23 March, Turkish Air Force F-16 jet fighters shot down a Syrian warplane that allegedly bombed rebels fighting around the border post. They had died in the war, been thrown in prison or scattered far beyond Syria’s borders. War has settled into an eerie rhythm in this part of Syria. During the fighting for the hill, the Moroccan leader of the Harakat Sham al-Islam rebel group, Ibrahim bin Shakran, was killed. Images of President Bashar al-Assad filled the Old City of Damascus. 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