Assad’s military liberates Syria’s Christian town of Maaloula
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Jihadists who overran Syria’s ancient town of Ma’loula as they disparaged Christians calling them “Crusaders” while forcing at least one to convert to Islam at gunpoint, have been forced to flee the city, after an extensive military campaign launched by Assad’s military.
Many of Ma’loula people left after a first militant assault knocked out an army checkpoint at the entrance to the strategic town on September 4. Some went to a nearby village and others to Damascus, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) to the south. One of them, Marie, was still frightened as she spoke of that day.
“They arrived in our town at dawn… and shouted, ‘We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders,’” an Islamist term for Christians, Marie said in Damascus, where she and hundreds of others attended the burial Tuesday of three Christian fighters who belong to the public committees.
Ma’loula is one of the most renowned Christian towns in Syria, and many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
The Syrian army on Wednesday September 11, regained control over Ma’loula after five days of fierce clashes with the militants in the town.
After the military entered the town, the militants moved back to the northern part of Ma’loula before they completely withdrew to the neighboring towns.
The army, aided by the local fighters who belong to the public committees, started its campaign by ambushing a large number of al-Nusra Front militants who lost their supplies from al-Nabk and other towns in the vicinity.
The Syrian army also restored security and stability to the village of Maksar al-Hisan in Homs countryside, killing a large number of terrorists and destroying their weapons and tools, a military source told the Syrian news agency, SANA.
Source: Al Manar TV news