Whilst the world’s eyes focus on the fighting in Aleppo, the questionable security of Syria’s large WMD inventory, and Assad’s staying power, a group of rebels have formed a maritime force* to oppose the regime at sea. Like the Free Syrian Army writ large, the exact composition of the FSN is sketchy, but appears to be a combination of defected naval personnel and interested rebels with boats. Of note, last August, a Syrian Naval Colonel defected publically. Besides a social media campaign, the FSN appears to be developing several lines of operation:
Logistics support: FSN is urging participants to catch fish which will be used to supply hungry FSA fighters. Likely other missions will include coastal smuggling of weapons and fighters for the FSA. This sort of maritime facilitation occured during Libya's revolution last year and is a key component of practically every insurgent movement in coastal areas.
Maritime Interdiction: The FSN wants to equip fishing and other small craft with armor plating and heavy weapons to take on Syrian patrol boats and stop incoming weapons shipments. Boldly, the FSA has established some naval infantry composed of Syrian navy defectors, with intentions to threaten Russia's Naval presence at Tartus. "Many of our men used to work in the port of Tartous and they know it well," said Captain Walid, a former officer in the Syrian Navy."
Amphibious Operations: The FSN wants a fleet to support a “unified strike on Latakia to drive regime troops away from Aleppo.” Last August Assad's navy indiscriminately shelled Latakia, killing dozens. Also interestingly, on 7 October, 1973, the seas off Latakia were the site of the world's first surface-to-surface naval missile exchanges during the Yom Kippur War.