Aug. 14 - Amateur video obtained from a social media website appears to show government troops setting fire to a bridge in Latakia. Activists say Syria deaths from Latakia offensive rise to 21. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) REUTERS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENTS OF THIS VIDEO The Syrian navy shelled the main Mediterranean port city of Latakia on Sunday (August 14), residents said, as President Bashar al-Assad broadened a military offensive to crush street protests against his rule. Since the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan on August 1, Assad's forces have stormed major urban centres and outlying regions where protests demanding political freedom and an end to 41 years of Assad family rule have been attracting crowds in larger numbers, human rights campaigners said. One witness told Reuters by phone from Latakia he could see the silhouettes of two grey vessels which were firing their guns on the Raml al-Filistini and al-Shaab neighbourhoods. He said Sunday's assault was the most intense attack on Latakia since the uprising began, adding that an average of 20,000 people had been rallying daily after Ramadan night prayers to demand Assad's removal .