Aug. 18 - Syrian president Bashar al-Assad rallies political party, military claims victory in Latakia. Julie Noce reports.
On Wednesday, video posted on a social media website by the Syrian army shows military troops celebrating what they call the 'cleansing' of Latakia. In the video, which cannot be independently verified, soldiers and civilians shout pro-government slogans and hold posters of President Bashar al-Assad. Tuesday, Syrian tanks fired on low-income Sunni Muslim districts in Latakia on the fourth day of assaults which have killed at least 36 people and forced thousands of Palestinian refugees to flee, activists said. Also Wednesday, President Assad convened a meeting of his ruling Baath Party in Damascus. Although Assad says he wants to an end to fighting, he vows Syria will not bow to foreign pressure. Assad has come under increased criticism lately from Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain for his handling of the anti-government uprisings. Julie Noce, Reuters