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Latakia (Al-Ladhiqiyah) is the principal port city of Syria. Population in 1994: 554,000.

The site, on the Ras Ziyarah peninsula, has been occupied for a long time. The Phoenicians had a city here named Ramitha, and to the Greeks it was Leuke Akte, then it was refounded and named Laodicea by Seleucus I Nicator, after his mother. It became an important port and an exporter of wine produced in the hills behind the city (Strabo 16. 2. 9.). An arch from the time of Septimius Severus has survived.

It was devastated by earthquakes in 494 and 555, and captured by Arabs in 638. In 1097 it was captured by Crusaders, and retaken by Saladin in 1188.

In 1973 during the Yom Kippur War, the naval Battle of Latakia between Israel and Syria, just offshore, was the first to be fought using missiles and ECM (electronic countermeasures).

There are a number of popular beaches around Latakia, and the ruins of Ugarit, where some of the earliest alphabetic writings have been found, are just 16 km (10 mi) to the north.

Between September 22, 1930 and 1936, Latakia was the capital of the Sanjak of Latakia a nominally automonous state ruled by France under a League of Nations mandate. The state extended along the coast and into the mountains inland.

Latakia became part of the Syrian Republic in 1936.

In a fashion similar to what it did for Alaouites, between 1931 and 1933 France overprinted postage stamps of Syria with "LATTAQUIE", and the Arabic version of the name underneath.