In a fresh offensive, the Syrian government forces conducted operations in the towns of Salma, Ghunaimyeh, Zahyeh, Suda, Rawda and al-Shahrura in the district of Latakia. According to the government news agency SANA, several rebels were killed in the offensive.
The government claims that among the dead are individuals from various Arab states, including Iraq, Morocco and Yemen. As widely reported, Syria has become a battleground for Islamic radicals incoming from all over the world with a dream of establishing an Islamist state based on laws of Shariah.
The official Damascus has repeatedly complained to the international community about the influx of foreign Jihadists flocking into the country via neighboring states. These Jihadists are fighting not only an anti-secular war against the government of Al-Assad, but also a sectarian war against the majority Shiite government.
Ungoverned territories under the rebel control are a cause for trouble where the Jihadists institute their extrajudicial trials over citizens. This significantly undermines the image of the actual opposition forces who had started the war against Al-Assad regime due to social injustices on Syrian people by the government.
According to Haitham al-Maleh, a leading head of opposition in exile, a total of 12,000 foreign fighters have joined the rebels in Syria and the numbers keep rising.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that in the new offensive, nine people were killed when the government troops attacked a village in the western countryside of the central province of Hama.
More than ten thousand people have been killed since the outset of the conflict. A little over 9 million people are still in Syria despite the deteriorating situation. More than two million refugees have left the country with most of them being hosted by the neighbor to the north, Turkey.
Russia and China had been proactively engaged in attempted resolution of the conflict by opposing action by the United States, Great Britain and France in the UN Security Council. The troika of Western states have been outspoken about using military force to stop the bloodshed and help the opposition prevail. Russia and China consistently supported Al-Assad.
In the last two months, the United States has mainly stopped lobbying for use of military force in any form and prefer the political settlement of the conflict instead.