Posted by: mulrickillion | August 14, 2011

Syria uses gunboats for 1st time to crush uprising

By Zeina Karam, Associated Press, Aug 14, 2011 —

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria used gunboats for the first time Sunday to crush the uprising against Bashar Assad’s regime, hammering parts of the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia after thousands marched there over the weekend to demand the president’s ouster. At least 25 people were killed, according to activists.

The coordinated attacks by gunboats and ground troops were the latest wave of a brutal offensive against anti-government protests launched at the beginning of the month. The assault showed Assad has no intention of scaling back the campaign even though it has brought international outrage and new U.S. and European sanctions.

"We are being targeted from the ground and the sea," said a frightened resident of the al-Ramel district of Latakia, the hardest hit neighborhood. "The shooting is intense. We cannot go out. They are raiding and breaking into people’s homes," he added, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

As the gunships blasted waterfront districts, ground troops backed by tanks and security forces stormed several neighborhoods including al-Ramel, sending terrified women and children fleeing, some on foot, to safer areas. . . .

Syria uses gunboats for 1st time to crush uprising – Yahoo! News

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