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Syria - Maaloula (Ma’loula)

Syria: Residents of the Christian town of Maaloula speak about the terrorism.

A new report by Russia Today (RT) is very interesting and shows clearly what has happened in the Christian village of Maaloula (Ma’loula / Arabic: معلولا‎) when the armed terrorists and fighters of Al-Qaeda-linked groups overran the ancient mountainous village in the north of Damascus.

The locals of the historic Syrian village, which is about 55-60 kilometres away in the north of the capital Damascus, were forced to flee their homes when the armed jihadist groups, affiliated with the so-called al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) stormed the well-known Christian village. Many of the residents from Maaloula (Ma’loula / Arabic: معلولا‎) still live in fear and have not yet overcome the shock and the horrible experiences when the al-Nusra Front overran the village and took over the control about the village, which has been one of the known places of interest for tourists in Syria.

In the report by Russia Today (RT), several residents of the Christian village of Maaloula (Ma’loula) speak out about their experiences, the moment when the armed extremists arrived in front of their homes and what really happened and happens in the historic village in the northern countryside of Syria’s capital, Damascus.

A resident from Maaloula (Ma’loula said that three members of her family were killed by the jihadists of the al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) on the first day when the extremists launched their attacks on the historic Syrian village. While Antoinette Taaleb speaks about the crimes of the jihadists, many other locals from Maaloula have rejected to make interviews in fears about their relatives and what might happen. It is understandable.

The resident from the Christian village of Maaloula (Ma’loula), Antoinette Taaleb, said that they were woken up in the morning by the “Allahu Akbar” shouts of the armed jihadists who had begun the siege of her village.

The family closed the doors of their home and gathered all inside a room of the house. But the extremists of the al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) broke into their garden and told the family that they won`t hurt them if they surrender. Antoinette Taaleb recalled the horrible moments and told the reporter of Russia Today (RT):

“Antoine, Mikhael, and Shadi went there and surrendered. I heard my cousin outside saying that he never held weapons. I understood they pointed their guns at them. Then they started shooting and throwing mortar bombs into the room. I got injured in my chest and elbow.”

Also the father in law of Antoinette Taaleb had something to say about the horrible moments when the armed jihadists arrived at their home. The 88-year old father in law said that they were living in peace and that it seems now that these extremists “want to displace us Christians from the country. We pray God we’ll conquer them and kick them out.”

Another relative of Antoinette Taaleb added that it is almost impossible to say how many residents of Maaloula were killed since the siege of the village by the armed extremists because the “jihadists holding the village often keep bodies for further ransom and to instil fear.”

The relative afterwards asked the question that “if they claim they fight Assad – is Assad living in Maaloula?” She explained that the idea of these armed extremists is to establish an Islamic emirate in the entire region of the Middle East and that it is a fact that foreign countries support these extremists with money and weapons – “whatever they need.”

The resident of Maaloula, an artist, added that the foreign countries help these armed extremists to destroy Syria and the people of the region and that “it is not about the regime.”

She said that they “have been living for 40 years without suffering, now the regime change became just claim for other goals.”

Report by RT:

Tales from village-turned-battlefield: Maaloula siege survivors talk

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