Gunmen in inflatable dinghies
attacked a military unit on Syria's Mediterranean coast, state media said on
Saturday, the first seaborne assault in a 13-month-old uprising against
President Bashar al-Assad.
The nocturnal raid, along with the killings
of at least 15 people in violence in two areas near the capital Damascus,
underlined the threadbare state of a two-week-old, U.N.-brokered ceasefire
The official SANA news agency said several
gunmen and soldiers were killed in a firefight that followed the coastal attack
near the northern port of Latakia, 35 km (22 miles) south of the Turkish
"The fighting ... resulted in the
death and wounding of a number of military personnel while the number of those
killed from the terrorist group was not known because they attacked the
military unit at night," SANA said.
It did not state the nationality of the
Damascus has accused Turkey of allowing
weapons and funds to flow to insurgents throughout the uprising, the latest in
a wave of revolts across the Arab world against autocratic rule. Turkey also
plays host to the leadership of the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Lebanese authorities found weapons
including rocket-propelled grenades and rifles on board a ship intercepted in
the Mediterranean which may have been trying to supply Syrian insurgents,
security sources said.
In a village north of Damascus where army
defectors had taken refuge, activists said Syrian forces killed at least 10
people. And overnight, five members of the security forces were killed in an
explosion targeting two vehicles near Damascus, the UK-based Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights said.