20 die in air raids in Syria’s Latakia province

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 5:03pm

Air strikes by the Syrian military killed at least 20 people in the northwestern province of Latakia overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

“The toll in several air strikes on the town of Salma in Jabal Akrad rose to at least 20 people,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Abdel Rahman said 10 of those killed were believed to be civilians, although many of the bodies were so badly damaged that it was not immediately possible to identify them.

At least six of those killed were Syrian rebel fighters, while four were foreign volunteers, he added.

“The number of deaths is expected to rise because of the number of wounded and those in serious condition among them,” he said.

Latakia province is a stronghold of the Alawite minority of President Bashar al-Assad.

In recent days, rebel forces have captured a number of villages in the Jabal Akrad, a hill district in the north of the province.

The army has hit back, sparking fierce fighting that has left dozens dead on both sides, according to the Observatory.