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Syrian Navy base reported seized by rebel troops

By With Analysis From Monitor Correspondents Around the World, Edited by Susan Garland / February 26, 1982

New York

Syria's opposition Islamic Front reported Thursday that the Navy base at Baida, near Latakia, was under the control of Mujahideen rebels.

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An Islamic Front spokesman in New York said two Syrian submarines were in the port at the time of the takeover, which came after heavy fighting between the Mujahideen and government troops.

After having taken the base, the Mujahideen apparently intercepted a message from Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to the Soviet Mediterranean fleet asking the Soviets to destroy the port. According to the Islamic Front spokesman, the Soviet commanding officer was waiting for guidance from Moscow.

The Islamic Front spokesman said the rebels also control the coastline from the base at Baida north to the Turkish border.