Report: U.S. Syria Strikes May Target Latakia, Assad’s Home Province
A Western diplomat has revealed that expected U.S. strikes on Syria may target Latakia, the home province of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report by French newspaper Le Figaro.
Speaking to Le Figaro, the Western diplomat said that it’s likely that U.S. forces may seek to target Latakia, the Alawite Assad-family’s stronghold and the historic center of Alawite power in the country, as a show of force.
The strike would be aimed at weakening the president and putting him in a more fragile position come time for peace talks between Syria’s government and opposition forces battling Assad’s regime scheduled to take place in Geneva later this year, the source said.
The source added that the attack may be carried out in tandem with another operation designed to weaken Jihadist elements linked to al-Qaeda that are currently fighting in the country against Assad’s army.
U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders of other Western countries have been mulling a response to a chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian government last week that left scores of civilians dead outside Damascus. The Syrian government denies responsibility for the incident, though it has not rejected the fact that the attack took place.