Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Assad reportedly flees to Syria coastal town of Latakia as regime forces strike back against rebels

As Syrian forces retaliate against rebels in Damascus a day after a deadly bombing attack that killed three regime leaders, reports Thursday suggest President Bashar Assad has fled to the coastal city of Latakia.

Assad, who was noticeably absent after Wednesday's bombing, is directing the government response to his top lieutenants' deaths from the Mediterranean sea resort, Reuters reports, citing opposition sources and a Western diplomat.

"Our information is that he is at his palace in Latakia and that he may have been there for days," a senior opposition figure told Reuters.

The whereabouts of his wife and their three young children were not known.

Thousands of Syrians streamed across the Syrian border into Lebanon, fleeing as fighting in the capital entered its fifth straight day, witnesses said. Residents near the Masnaa crossing point -- about 25 miles from Damascus -- said hundreds of private cars as well as taxis and buses were ferrying people across. more