Syria conflict nears President Assad's Latakia stronghold
10 October 2012 Last updated at 08:07 BST
The death toll from the conflict in Syria has now passed 32,000, according to Syrian activists' estimates, but one region of the country remains largely untouched by the violence.
Latakia is the ancestral home of President Assad's family and his minority Alawite sect, and is a political stronghold. The authorities are determined to keep it under government control.
But signs are emerging that the conflict is drawing closer to the region.
Lyse Doucet reports.