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Maaloula: Syrian Army Tries to Protect Christian Village from Al-Qaeda

Syria / Maloula / Maaloula

Maaloula (Ma’loula): Syrian Army rejects claims that the Christian village is under control of al-Qaeda.

The battles between the units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the armed terrorist groups, partly linked to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and this is simultaneously also the evidence that the recent statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about the “absence of Al-Qaeda” in the Syrian conflict really was a lie, are still ongoing.

Although the so-called “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” in Syria, based near London, said that the armed terrorist groups have already taken over the control above the historic mountain village of Maaloula (Ma’loula) and that the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists have also gained the full-control over the area near the Syrian capital Damascus, the Syrian military is rejecting these claims and stated that the battles would still continue in the region of the old and famous Syrian city of Maaloula (Ma’loula).

The Syrian city of Maaloula (Arabic: معلولا‎) is located in the countryside of the capital Damascus and thus, in the Rif of Dimashq, about 55 kilometres in the northeast of Syria’s capital.

The ancient mountain city of Maaloula (Ma’loula) is known as one of the last places where people are still able to speak Western Aramaic. The other two areas in Syria where inhabitants are also able to speak Aramaic are nearby of this mountain city, Bakh’a and Jubb Adin. The historic Syrian village, which is also on the UNESCO list of all the world heritage sites, is also the home of two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria: the monasteries of Mar Sarkis and Mar Takla.

The locals of Maaloula are mainly Christians or Muslims and the city was one of the famous places of interest for tourists in Syria. However, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the cities in the region near Damascus were already often attacked and the targets of the foreign-backed terrorist groups and al-Qaeda-linked jihadists.

Since the beginning of September, the battles between the units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the foreign-supported terrorist groups and fighters of the so-called al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra / Syrian al-Qaeda offshoot) have increased near and in the ancient Syrian city of Maaloula (Ma’loula) and intense battles between both sides are taking place. Recent reports imply that the mountain city is now under the full-control of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.

However, as mentioned, the Syrian military rejects these claims by the so-called Syrian Observatory in Britain. The problem with both sides is sadly, that too many statements and claims of both sides were already debunked as lies or / and false information in recent months, while the population of the ancient mountain city near Damascus is under a huge threat by the Islamist fighters of the al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) and the thugs and gunmen of the other foreign-backed terrorist groups.

There are reports that armed jihadists of the Jabhat al-Nusra have been forcing the conversions of Christians on pain of death in the city of Maaloula (Ma’loula) and the nearby villages. Many Christian properties and also churches in and around the ancient Syrian city was already attacked by the armed Islamists and US-backed terrorist groups since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

There is a reason why e.g. U.S. Senator Rand Paul has recently stated that the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad protect the Christians in Syria against the violence and sectarian rage by the foreign-backed terrorist groups.

The Syrian Christians need a protection against these armed religious fanatics and al-Qaeda-near elements on Syrian soil. The foreign-backed terrorist groups and the Syrian al-Qaeda offshoots often try to attack religious minorities in Syria and have already killed many members of the minorities in the Arab country. In case that the Al-Qaeda-linked elements and fighters of the Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusa Front) really take over the ancient mountain village of Maaloula (Ma’loula), one can just pray for the safety of the Christians and Muslims in this ancient city, located in the countryside of Damascus.

Syria / Maloula / Maaloula
Syria / Maloula / Maaloula

The al-Qaeda-linked groups who are fighting against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) are already known for attacking and killing religious minorities in Syria. Not to mention that the foreign-backed terrorist groups and jihadists have already tortured, raped, massacred and killed many Syrian civilians. Thus, one can just hope the best for the people of Maaloula (Ma’loula) and pray for them. At least, many of the locals from the area in and around the ancient mountain city have fled their homes when the armed terrorist groups arrived in the region.

The locals say, for example, that the Saudi-backed terrorists and Islamists have attacked their houses and the churches when they arrived and it is already known that a group of the dangerous and radical al-Nusra Front has seized the mountaintop Safir Hotel and they started the shelling of one of the nearby communities afterwards.

The Syrian military has sent reinforcement to the area near Damascus at the end of last week. However, due to the location of the Syrian city of Maaloula (Ma’loula), the city in the mountains has a specific strategic significance and the foreign-backed terrorist groups want to gain the control in order to benefit from the strategic significance of Syria’s Maaloula (Ma’loula) in the mountains near the Syrian capital.

As stated, it is up to now unclear whether the al-Qaeda-linked gunmen and Islamists have really gained the full-control above the area of Maloula (Maaloula) or not. It is only certain that the battles between the units of the Syrian Army and these foreign-backed terrorist and Islamist groups are continued and still very intense.

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