Latakia(redirected from Latakiyah)
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al-Ladhiqiya, a muhafaza (governorate) in Syria, located on the Mediterranean Sea. Area, 6,300 sq km. Administrative center, Latakia.
In the Middle Ages the mountains of Latakia served as a refuge for such Shiite sects as the Ismailites and the Nusayrites (Alawites), who were persecuted by the Arabian Caliphate. In the early 16th century Latakia, along with all of Syria, was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and annexed to the Ottoman Empire. After World War I, Latakia was occupied by British and French forces. In late August and early September 1920 the French authorities proclaimed Latakia the Autonomous Territory of the Alawites. In 1936, Latakia’s autonomy was annulled; after Syria’s proclamation of independence in 1943, Latakia was included in its territory as an ordinary muhafaza.
During the period of Ottoman Turkish sovereignty in Syria and during the French Mandate, Latakia was one of the centers of anti-Turkish, antifeudal (particularly in 1859), and anti-French uprisings (in 1919–22, 1923 and 1925–27).
or al-Ladhiqiya, a city in Syria and the administrative center of the muhafaza (governorate) of Latakia. Population, 126,000 (1970).
A port with a freight turnover of about 1 million tons a year, Latakia is located on the Mediterranean seacoast. It gins cotton, mills flour, and produces tobacco, soap, olive oil, and silk textiles. Bitumen is mined nearby. Latakia is the starting point for the Latakia-Aleppo (Halab)-Qamisliyah railroad, on which construction began in 1973 with Soviet aid.
Latakia was originally the Phoenician settlement of Ramitha; later (the reign of Seleucus I) it became the town of Laodicea. It was conquered by the Arabs in the seventh century. During the Crusades, Latakia was one of the objectives of the wars between the Crusaders and the Arabs. From 1516 to 1918 it was a part of the Ottoman Empire. During the 16th through 18th centuries Latakia was the center of the semi-independent Latakian principality. [14–514—4]