Free Republic 4th Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $4,907
Woo hoo!! And the first 5% is in!! Thank you all very much!!

Keyword: maaloula

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Spirit survives as Syrian city of Maaloula clears away the rubble

    09/24/2015 11:02:46 AM PDT · by CivilWarBrewing · 6 replies
    The Irish Times ^ | July 28, 2015 | Michael Jansen
    The 14th-century Christian town of Maaloula is rising again from the ruins and rubble of eight months of occupation by insurgents determined to obliterate churches, convents and Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus and his disciples. The streets of the newer quarters and narrow alleyways of the old city are clear of debris and charred wooden beams from collapsed buildings. Street lights glow orange on lamp posts although the electricity supply is fitful and uncertain. “Just like Damascus,” says municipal councillor Joseph Saadeh. I last visited Maaloula on April 15th, 2014, with a handful of other journalists taken by Syrian...
  • Someone Is Lying: Obama Says Not Arming Syrian Rebels, Syrian Rebels Say He Is

    05/28/2014 2:51:41 PM PDT · by george76 · 20 replies
    Zero hedge ^ | 05/28/2014 | Tyler Durden
    Obama is saying he is contemplating arming and training Syrian rebels (just the 'moderates' which will be identified by their smiles). However, as the following PBS Frontline documentary exposes, the Syrian rebels themselves say they are already armed and trained by US in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, "how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush." The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels, as PBS notes "it appears the Obama...
  • Syria's Assad Visits Recaptured Christian Village

    04/21/2014 6:17:09 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 28 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | 4/20/14 | Barbara Surk
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's president marked Easter with a tour Sunday of an ancient Christian village recently recaptured by his forces, state media said, as the country's Greek Orthodox Patriarch vowed that country's Christians "will not submit and yield" to extremists. Syrian state TV and the country's official SANA news agency said President Bashar Assad visited the hilltop hamlet of Maaloula, inspecting the damage done in recent fighting to its monasteries and churches. Rebels, including fighters from the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front, seized Maaloula several times late last year, most recently in December. Government troops swept through the village on Monday,...
  • Syrian Christian Refugees Seek Return to Ancient Town After Government Recapture

    04/18/2014 6:38:47 AM PDT · by SJackson · 6 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | April 18, 2014 - Syrian Christian refugees from the ancient town of Maaloula are seeking to return to their home after it was recaptured by Syrian government forces this week. “I would love to go back and celebrate Easter there, but it’s still a bit early,” said Fadi Mayal, a former Maaloula resident who currently lives in Damascus’s Christian quarter, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported. “There are still sleeper cells in Maaloula,” Mayal said, referring to jihadist groups in the area. Maaloula, located 56 kilometers from Damascus, is an ancient Christian town where many of the residents still speak Aramaic, the same language...
  • How Assad Wooed the American Right, and Won the Syria Propaganda War

    09/10/2013 4:48:12 PM PDT · by Third Person · 56 replies
    Foreign Policy ^ | September 9th, 2013 | David Kenner
    Even before President Barack Obama put his plans to strike the Syrian regime on hold, he was losing the battle of public opinion about military intervention. Part of the credit, no doubt, goes to a successful media blitz by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and its supporters. In an interview aired on Monday night, Assad himself advanced his government's case to Charlie Rose, saying that the United States had not presented "a single shred of evidence" proving the Syrian military had used chemical weapons. Assad has always been able to skillfully parry Western journalists' criticisms of his regime -- and,...
  • For Syrian Christians, protests are cause for fear

    04/24/2011 9:43:54 AM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 16 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | Saturday, April 23, 2011
    DAMASCUS, Syria — In the days leading up to Easter Sunday, Syria’s Christian community should have been busy preparing. This year, however, signs of festivities were hardly visible. Following anti-government protests that have been violently suppressed, leaving about 300 people dead, street parades and other forms of public celebration have been declared illegal by authorities. Meanwhile, fear is mounting among the nation’s Christians that the uprising that has rocked this tightly controlled country over the past month will bring them only misery. For decades, the government of President Bashar al-Assad has protected Christian interests by enforcing its strictly secular program...
  • Christians and Syria - Relationship between minority, dictator more complicated than portrayed

    09/17/2013 8:05:30 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies ^ | September 17, 2013 | Alana Goodman
    The relationship between Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his country’s Christian minority is far more complex than the portrait drawn by Assad allies and opponents of a U.S. military intervention, according to Christians from the region and Middle East experts. Assad’s supporters often describe the Alawite leader as a protector and ally of Christians. Opponents of a U.S. strike have now picked up the argument, pointing to brutal attacks on Christians by rebel-allied jihadist groups as evidence that the West would be better off keeping Assad in power. But Assad’s critics say the anti-Christian violence by extremist opposition factions does...
  • Nuncio: “Syrians were moved by the participation of the whole world in their suffering”

    09/10/2013 5:58:25 AM PDT · by NYer · 6 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | September 9, 2013 | Catherine Harmon
    Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham, left, joins church leaders and worshipers in a prayer service at the Melkite patriarchate Cathedral of the Dormition in Damascus, Syria, Sept. 7. (CNS photo/Khaled al Hariri, Reuters) As tens of thousands joined Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square for the prayer vigil for peace in Syria on Saturday evening—and even more watched on TV or streaming online—a similar event took place in Damascus’ Cathedral of the Dormition. AsiaNews has a report on the event: Interviewed by AsiaNews, Msgr. Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio in Damascus, defines the Day of Prayer as an exceptional event...
  • Syrian Christians Targeted by Outsiders, Says Bishop

    09/21/2013 6:16:58 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 9/20/13 | Judith Sudilovsky
    Christians in Syria are continuing to be targeted by outside fundamentalist groups who have joined the country’s long civil war, the head of the Syriac Catholic Church in Jerusalem has said. Bishop Boutros Melki, Syriac Catholic patriarchal vicar, said Christians feared the situation in Syria will become like that in Iraq, where half the Christian population has fled since the American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In an interview with the American Catholic News Service, the bishop said the historic city of Maaloula, with its ancient churches and monasteries, became the site of fighting between rebel and government forces. Attacks against...
  • Syrian Rebels Continue to Plunder Christian Villages

    09/11/2013 6:22:28 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 22 replies ^ | September 11, 2013 | Nightwatch
    Japan-China: Two Chinese navy ships sailed through the international waters between Okinawa and Miyako in the Ryukyus. Yesterday two bombers flew between the two islands. Syria: The fighting has continued with no let up. The government has made small gains in multiple areas. However an al-Qaida-affiliated group of the al Nusra Front drove government forces from the village of Maaloula. This is one of the three villages in the world that still speak a variation of Western Aramaic, which is the language thought to be closest to the language spoken by Jesus of Nazareth. As occurs whenever a Christian village is captured,...
  • Al-Qaida-Linked Syrian Rebels Attack Regime-Held Christian Village

    09/05/2013 6:51:23 AM PDT · by Rusty0604 · 4 replies
    CNS News ^ | 09/05/2013 | By KARIN LAUB and ZEINA KARAM
    Syrian government troops battled al-Qaida-linked rebels over a regime-held Christian village in western Syria for the second day Thursday... The rebels launched the assault on the ancient Christian village of Maaloula — which is on a UNESCO list of tentative world heritage sites — on Wednesday after an al-Nusra fighter blew himself up at a regime checkpoint at the entrance to the mountain village. The four-decade iron rule of the Assad family over Syria long has rested on support from the country's ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians, Shiite Muslims and Kurds. The Assad family and key regime figures are...
  • Syria: Al Qaeda-Linked Rebels Target Christians

    09/05/2013 8:42:09 AM PDT · by kronos77 · 6 replies
    Residents of a Christian village in western Syria have taken shelter in a convent as it was bombarded by al Qaeda-linked rebels. The rebel fighters stormed a hotel atop a mountain overlooking Maaloula to carry out the attack, said a nun, speaking on condition of anonymity from a convent in the village. "It's a war. It has been going from 6am in the morning," she said. Some 80 people took refuge in the convent, which houses 13 nuns and 27 orphans. A protest in Damascus against potential US stikes The dawn assault was carried out by rebels from the al...
  • St. Sergius Church - site of oldest altar

    06/07/2005 1:53:16 PM PDT · by NYer · 27 replies · 462+ views
    About our church here in Maaloula, it must be built before 325 A.D. for three reasons: Infact, the main and first proof is this altar inside made of marble; it has a border semi-circular which is a pagan architecture. Pagans used such borders in their altars to forbid the blood of sacrifices to go on the ground, so they used to make a hole in the middle to drain it properly; they used also to sculpt  or design on this border some illustrations of animals to be sacrified. The Church used this architecture at the beginning before it had its...
  • Christians Fearful Over US Syria Strike ("American Strike Will Destroy And Displace Us")

    09/10/2013 10:31:34 AM PDT · by 11th_VA · 17 replies ^ | September 6, 2013 | Jean Aziz
    Voices were loud and tones were clear in the closed conference held Monday, Sept. 2, in a Christian monastery in Mount Lebanon, about 20 kilometers [12 miles] from Beirut. The participants included representatives of the 11 Christian churches in Lebanon, along with a number of Lebanese Christian intellectuals and politicians, including Al-Monitor’s correspondent. The hottest topic was about the fate of Syria and Lebanon’s Christians in light of a potential US strike against Damascus. One of the participating bishops addressed his fellow bishops and others with a sharp tone, saying, “Hear my words and take notes; the US strike on...
  • Syrian village is 'liberated' by rebels... who then forced Christians to convert to Islam

    09/09/2013 5:21:10 AM PDT · by NotYourAverageDhimmi · 17 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | September 8, 2013 | Mail Foreign Service
    Terrified Christians claim Syrian rebels ordered them to convert to Islam on pain of death when they ‘liberated’ their ancient village. Opposition forces, including fighters linked to Al Qaeda, gained temporary control of the Christian village of Maaloula after fighting with regime forces. The reports have reignited fears about western support for the rebel groups, which are increasingly being infiltrated by Islamic extremists. One Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of whom had beards and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village.  ‘They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots...
  • Christians Flee Syria Village That Speaks the Language of Jesus

    09/09/2013 6:49:51 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 10 replies
    The Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 9/10/13 | Ruth Sherlock and Magdy Samaan
    Christians in Syria were fleeing one of the oldest Christian towns in the world on Sunday, after regime forces failed to win it back from Islamist rebel fighters.Rebel groups, including a branch of al-Qaeda, have taken control of Maaloula, one of the few remaining villages where the language of Christ is still spoken, residents and activists reported. “Our army, the Syrian army, has failed us,” said Sister Antoinette, a nun from Maaloula, claiming the regime had forsaken control of the town. “We called the army, we begged them to come inside Maalouola and save us but they stayed outside. They...
  • In the Syrian desert, the language of Jesus lives on

    07/30/2008 6:33:07 AM PDT · by rrstar96 · 7 replies · 260+ views
    Catholic News Service ^ | July 29, 2008 | Brooke Anderson
    MAALOULA, Syria (CNS) -- Aramaic, the language of Jesus that flourished in villages thousands of years ago, is being kept alive in the Syrian desert, about an hour's drive from Damascus. Today, Aramaic is spoken in Maaloula, an ancient mountainous town with two historic monasteries, Catholic and Orthodox, both built into the cliffs. Georgette Halabi, a tour guide at St. Serge Melkite Catholic convent in Maaloula, grew up speaking Aramaic. "I don't write it," she said. "But I want to learn." Local residents' Arabic education has never offered formal instruction in written Aramaic, but they have managed to pass down...
  • Patriarch tells pope of three “true martyrs” executed in Syria

    12/05/2013 2:26:55 PM PST · by NYer · 8 replies
    The Deacon's Bench ^ | December 5, 2013 | Deacon Greg Kandra
    Details: The Syrian Greek-Catholic Church has three “true martyrs”. They are the “three men from Maaloula who refused to repudiate their faith,” and were killed for this reason, said Patriarch Gregory III Laham during his meeting with Pope Francis on Sunday, this according to a press release issued by the Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkites.The events that led to the three men’s death occurred during fighting on 3 -7 September in the town of Maaloula.According to eyewitness accounts, men from the Syrian Free Army and the Jabhat al-Nusra Islamic Front...
  • Syria: Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch says Muslims killed three Christians for refusing…

    12/04/2013 4:03:28 AM PST · by markomalley · 22 replies
    Jihad Watch ^ | 12/4/2013 | Robert Spencer
    And as those three men were confronted with the choice of Islam or death, the Muslim neighbors of the Christians of Maaloula terrorized them: "According to what the families who fled from Maaloula had to say, some of their Muslim neighbours took part in the attack that devastated this historic village where people still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus."The above photo and caption are from the June 19, 2013 New York Times. It illustrates how the call to jihad can override all existing loyalties -- such that a Syrian Alawite can suddenly be murdered by his Sunni friend. There...
  • Syria rebels capture Christian town of Maalula

    12/03/2013 5:09:43 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    This file picture taken on June 29, 2009, shows a general view of the Christian Syrian village of Maalula, 60 kms north of Damascus. AFP PHOTO Syrian rebels, including jihadist groups, captured the historic Christian town of Maalula north of Damascus Dec. 2, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Rebels assaulted the town by rolling explosive-filled tyres down the hills onto regime forces and were able to reach the city centre after three days of intense fighting, with clashes still raging in the surrounding areas. The picturesque town is considered a symbol of the ancient Christian presence in Syria,...
  • Video: Maaloula was religious cleansing, not a military target (The Syrian "Rebels")

    09/29/2013 6:54:58 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    Hotair ^ | 09/28/2013 | Ed Morrissey
    Rebels overran the ancient Christian village of Maaloula in Syria on the fourth of September, and held it for eleven days until the Syrian army could retake it. It always made for a curious target in a broad civil war. Maaloula had no particular strategic value; it’s 56 kilometers north of Damascus in rugged mountain territory, enough of a backwater that it’s one of the few places where Aramaic is still spoken along with Arabic. It’s off the highway between Damascus and Homs, and away from the railroad that links the two Syrian cities. Why bother with Maaloula at all?Lee...
  • Syria: Longtime Muslim Neighbors Joined al-Qaeda Rebels Against Christians

    09/28/2013 6:22:59 PM PDT · by markomalley · 17 replies
    Atlas Shrugs ^ | 9/28/2013 | Pamela Geller
    “We knew our Muslim neighbours all our lives,” Georgios says .... we thought they would never betray us. We ate with them. We are one people. Every time there is a conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims, "moderate" Muslims always join the jihadis. We've seen this time and time again all over the world. This is never discussed in the media. Read this.  "Syria crisis: In sacred Maaloula, where they speak the language of Christ, war leads neighbours into betrayal"  The Independent, September 28, 2013 (thanks to Filip) Muslims and Christians had lived together in this town of churches and...
  • Maaloula Christians Say Town Muslims Took Part in Attack

    09/27/2013 7:21:17 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 14 replies
    Asia News ^ | 9/27/13 | Fady Noun
    "Christians and Muslims had always lived in an atmosphere of mutual trust; the attack on Maaloula has created a lot of distress." Islamists have invaded homes and continue to threaten the village, site of ongoing clashes between rebels and the army. The families who fled to Damascus and Beirut tell their story. The goal is to drive out Christians in order to eliminate Christianity.Beirut (AsiaNews) - According to families who fled Maaloula (Syria), some of their Muslim neighbours were involved in the attack that devastated their village located about fifty kilometres from Damascus, dispersing its residents. Perceived as a betrayal...
  • Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel snipers haunt Christian town of Maaloula

    09/19/2013 2:31:33 PM PDT · by george76 · 6 replies
    Washington Times ^ | September 19, 2013 | Jessica Chasmar
    Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels continue to haunt the predominantly Christian town of Maaloula as regime fighters struggle to regain power there. Maaloula, about 35 miles northeast of Damascus, the capital, is nestled under a large cliff, the summit of which is controlled by the rebels. “Invisible” snipers continue to pepper the residents below. “We never see them, but we hear the shots fired by their Dragunovs,” the Russians’ favorite sniper rifle, said a soldier as he hid behind a wall, Agence France-Presse reported. ... al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels in Maaloula had forced at least one person to convert to Islam at gunpoint...
  • The Christian Exodus

    09/13/2013 6:45:17 PM PDT · by chessplayer · 5 replies
    As I write, the city of Maaloula in Syria has become a ghost town after being briefly occupied by members of the al Qaeda–linked jihadist group al-Nusra Front. Conflicting reports claim that al-Nusra fighters have desecrated churches and statues in what may be one of the oldest Christian cities in the world, a place where residents still speak Aramaic, the language presumably spoken by Jesus. Sadly, the experience of Maaloula’s residents is becoming all too common in the Middle East, where examples of brutality against Christians have been mounting in recent weeks. In Egypt, the coup against President Mohamed Morsi...
  • Syrian Army fights to take back Christian town Maaloula from Islamist rebels

    09/12/2013 9:39:46 AM PDT · by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America · 14 replies
    The Right Scoop ^ | September 12, 2013 | BBC / AFP
    A great report by BBC News on how the Syrian Army are fighting the Islamist rebels to take back Maaloula: (Watch video at link above) Here’s another video from AFP which suggests the Syrian Army has made great strides in beating back the rebels: Syria army makes 'major advance' in Christian town So why again were we planning to attack Assad?
  • Frontline: Dramatic report as Syria Army battles jihadists in ancient Christian village (VIDEO)

    09/12/2013 8:50:36 AM PDT · by cunning_fish · 15 replies
    RT via Youtube ^ | September 12, 2013
    The Syrian army is battling small groups of rebels who remain in the ancient Christian village of Maaloula. Opposition fighters linked to Al-Qaeda have been in control of the area for almost a week - reportedly looting religious sites and forcing residents to convert to Islam at gunpoint. RT's Maria Finoshina made it to the village following reports that government troops have re-captured it - but found pockets of resistance remain.
  • Syrian Army fights to take back Christian town Maaloula from Islamist rebels

    09/12/2013 8:42:31 AM PDT · by Hotlanta Mike · 4 replies
    The Right Scoop ^ | September 12th, 2013
    A great report by BBC News on how the Syrian Army are fighting the Islamist rebels to take back Maaloula:
  • Christianity, Islam, and a Deadly Double-Standard

    09/12/2013 5:22:52 AM PDT · by markomalley · 11 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | 9/11/2013 | Michael Coren
    The French love their food, and being French they claim almost anything appetizing as their own. Such as croissants. But croissants are Austrian, and while we don’t know the precise origins of the pastry, one of the most likely explanations is that they were invented in 1683 to commemorate the Catholic victory over the Turks who were trying, in their “peaceful” way, to take Vienna, destroy the churches, forcibly convert the people to Islam, rape the women, and so forth. Allegedly, the city’s bakers had stayed up all night at work and so heard the Muslims trying to tunnel their...
  • Battle for Syria Christian Town of Maaloula Continues

    09/11/2013 6:33:04 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 9/11/13 | Jeremy Bowen
    A BBC correspondent in Syria has said the battle for an ancient Christian town is continuing, despite reports that government forces had retaken it. Jeremy Bowen said that a heavy gunfight with rebels was continuing in Maaloula, with smoke rising into the sky. He added that he had not seen evidence confirming religious sites had been damaged by al-Qaeda-linked jihadists. Then on Sunday, activists said government soldiers and pro-government militiamen had been forced to pull back to the outskirts following a fresh rebel assault. Fighting over the town, 55km (34 miles) north of Damascus, began last week after rebels attacked...
  • Syrian war makes sudden appearance at convent in historic Christian town

    09/10/2013 12:08:01 PM PDT · by ek_hornbeck · 10 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 9/10/13 | Liz Sly
    BEIRUT — High in the mountains above Damascus lies a town so remote that Syria’s war had passed it by, so untouched by time that its inhabitants still speak the language of Jesus.The violence ravaging the rest of Syria has finally caught up with Maaloula, renowned as the oldest Christian community in the world — and the last in which the same version of Aramaic that prevailed 2,000 years ago is the native tongue. On Sunday, Syrian rebels, including some affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through Maaloula for the second time in four days, after an assault a few days earlier...
  • Russia calls for protection of Christian holy places in Maalula, Syria

    09/10/2013 4:37:05 AM PDT · by NYer · 39 replies
    Jihad Watch ^ | September 9, 2013
    Never fear: the Americans are coming -- on the side of the jihadis, that is. "Russia calls for protection of Christian holy places in Maalula," from Interfax, September 6 (thanks to Pamela Geller): Moscow, September 6, Interfax - The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over the attempts made by the armed opposition in Syria to take over the city of Maalula, a symbol of the Christian presence in Syria. "Moscow is deeply concerned over the fact that terrorist attacks in Syria have affected Maalula, a symbol of the Christian presence in this country. Its residents speak the Aramaic language,...
  • Islamist Rebels Take Christian Village

    09/09/2013 1:10:23 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 3 replies
    Daily Star ^ | September 09, 2013
    Rebels including Al-Qaeda-linked fighters gained control of a Christian village northeast of Damascus, Syrian activists and residents said Sunday, but government media provided a dramatically different account of the battle, suggesting regime forces were winning. It was impossible to independently verify the reports from Maaloula, a scenic mountain community known for being one of the few places in the world where residents still speak the ancient Middle Eastern language of Aramaic. The village is on a UNESCO list of tentative world heritage sites. The rebel advance into the area this week was spearheaded by the Nusra Front, exacerbating fears among...
  • 'Either You Convert to Islam, Or You Will Be Beheaded'

    09/09/2013 9:33:18 AM PDT · by george76 · 69 replies
    Breitbart News ^ | 9 Sep 2013
    The village of Maaloula has been taken over by Syrian rebels associated with al Qaeda, who have stormed the Christian center and offered local Christians a choice: conversion or death. .. The village is located just 25 miles from Damascus, and sites within the village are dedicated as United Nations world heritage sites. Residents still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The rebels who took over the city are associated with the al Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-associated Islamist group. Villagers reported foreign dialects ranging from Tunisian to Libyan, from Moroccan to Chechen.
  • Syria Islamist rebels take control of historic Christian town of Maaloula

    09/08/2013 9:38:20 PM PDT · by Arthurio · 4 replies
    CNN ^ | 9.8
    (CNN) -- An al Qaeda-linked rebel group has wrested control of the historic Christian town of Maaloula from regime forces, opposition groups said Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the hardline Islamist rebels of the al-Nusra Front seized control Saturday night. Videos posted on YouTube in recent days showed fighting between rebels and government forces in the tiny sleepy town, an hour's drive from the capital Damascus. "We cleansed Maaloula from all the Assad dogs and all his thugs," a rebel commander shouts at the camera in a video posted online over the weekend.
  • Syrian rebels attack Assad-held Christian village

    09/04/2013 12:57:00 PM PDT · by topher · 24 replies ^ | September 4, 2013 | AP
    AP - Link only
  • Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels fight army near Christian village

    09/05/2013 10:56:55 AM PDT · by tobyhill · 12 replies
    fox news ^ | 9/5/2013 | AP
    Syrian government troops battled Al Qaeda-linked rebels over a regime-held Christian village in western Syria for the second day Thursday, as world leaders gathered in Russia for an economic summit expected to be overshadowed by the prospect of U.S.-led strikes against the Damascus regime. Residents of Maaloula said the militants entered the village late Wednesday. Rami Abdul-Rahman, the director of the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights, said the fighters included members of the of Al Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra group. Despite heavy army presence in the village, Abdul-Rahman said the rebels patrolled its streets on foot and in vehicles, briefly...
  • Syrian government sends reinforcements to Christian village attacked by rebel fighters (Al Qaeda)

    09/06/2013 6:20:54 AM PDT · by jimbo123 · 18 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 9/6/13 | AP
    The Syrian government has dispatched reinforcements including tanks and armored personnel carriers to a predominantly Christian village north of Damascus where rebels have clashed with regime troops this week, a monitoring group said Friday. Opposition fighters led by an al-Qaida-linked rebel faction attacked the mountainside sanctuary of Maaloula on Wednesday, and briefly entered the village a day later before pulling out in the evening. The assault has spotlighted fears among Syria’s religious minorities about the prominent role of Islamic extremists in the rebel ranks fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad’s regime.
  • Obama-backed rebels dismember live Christian girl (Video)

    09/08/2013 9:16:02 AM PDT · by BarnacleCenturion · 69 replies ^ | September 8, 2013 | Deborah Dupre
    Barack Obama-backed Syrian rebel terrorists this week have dismembered a girl while she was alive along with other similar atrocities in a Christian village in Syria, according to Russia Today. Hit-and-run attacks on the ancient village of Maaloula, one of the few places in the world where residents still speak "the original language of Christ," Aramaic, has intensified fears among Syria’s religious minorities about the growing role of U.S.-backed rebel extremists among those fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.. President Barack Obama has aimed to topple Assad with support from Congress and the public, first using US-backed rebels to...
  • Syria crisis: al-Qaeda seizes village that still speaks the ancient language of Christ

    09/05/2013 10:49:25 PM PDT · by Arthurio · 53 replies
    7:46PM BST 05 Sep 2013 Fighting raged through the picturesque mountain village of Maaloula, near Damascus, on Thursday, as the regime launched a counter-attack against the rebels. "They entered the main square and smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary," said one resident of the area, speaking by phone and too frightened to give his name. "They shelled us from the nearby mountain. Two shells hit the St Thecla convent." Maaloula, tucked into the honey-coloured cliffs of a mountain range north of Damascus and on a "tentative" list of applicants for Unesco world heritage status, is associated with the earliest...
  • Maaloula Monasteries [Christian Village in Syria Where The Language of Jesus Lives On]

    03/10/2011 6:46:05 AM PST · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Located 50 km from Damascus in the direction of Lebanon is the magnificent village of Maalula (also spelled Maaloula), Syria. Maalula is the only place in the world that still speaks Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Mar Sarkis-Greek CatholicMaalula is a predominantly Christian village with a population of about 2,000. It is the home of two ancient Christian monasteries: Mar Sarkis and Mar Taqla. Both Christians and Muslim pilgrims come to Maalula seeking blessings. Maalula means "the entrance" in Aramaic, referring to its dramatic location at the entrance to a rocky gorge. Maalula perches on the slopes of the Kalamun...
  • Syria Islamist rebels take control of historic Christian town of Maaloula

    09/08/2013 7:43:29 AM PDT · by tobyhill · 12 replies
    cnn ^ | 9/8/2013 | Hamdi Alkhshali and Nic Robertson
    An al Qaeda-linked rebel group has wrested control of the historic Christian town of Maaloula from regime forces, opposition groups said Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the hardline Islamist rebels of the al-Nusra Front seized control Saturday night. Videos posted on YouTube in recent days showed fighting between rebels and government forces in the tiny sleepy town, an hour's drive from the capital Damascus. "We cleansed Maaloula from all the Assad dogs and all his thugs," a rebel commander shouts at the camera in a video posted online over the weekend. What the capture will mean for...
  • Pro-strike lawmakers mum as startling videos surface of Syrian rebels

    09/08/2013 9:02:14 AM PDT · by Innovative · 11 replies
    FoxNews ^ | Sept 6, 2013 | FoxNews
    Lawmakers who were early champions of a U.S. strike on Assad regime targets in Syria have stayed mum as video clips emerge appearing to show opposition soldiers both killing unarmed men and indicating they have possession of chemical weapons. Yigal Carmon, the president of the Middle East Media Research Institute, who also reviewed the tape, said, "The message is if the West doesn't act, we (the rebels) too will have no red lines, and will use chemical weapons." "There are times where we have to make hard choices if we're going to stand up for the things we care about,"...
  • Al-Qaeda-linked rebels take Syrian Christian village, activists say

    09/08/2013 5:39:12 AM PDT · by tobyhill · 28 replies
    cbs ^ | 9/8/2013 | staff
    Rebels including al-Qaeda-linked fighters gained control of a Christian village northeast of the capital Damascus, Syrian activists said Sunday. Government media provided a dramatically different account of the battle suggesting regime forces were winning. Independent information has been nearly impossible to come by in the 2.5-year-old conflict in Syria. Maaloula, a scenic mountain community, is known for being one of the few places in the world where residents still speak the ancient Middle Eastern language of Aramaic. The rebel advance into the area this week was spearheaded by the Jabhat al-Nusra, or Nusra Front, exacerbating fears among Syrians and religious...
  • Al-Qaeda Vows to Slaughter Christians After U.S. ‘Liberates’ Syria

    09/07/2013 3:53:02 AM PDT · by kronos77 · 18 replies
    While U.S. leaders continue pushing for war against the Syrian government, today “Al-Qaeda-linked rebels,”reports AP, “launched an assault on a regime-held Christian mountain village in the densely populated west of Syria and new clashes erupted near the capital, Damascus, on Wednesday… In the attack on the village of Maaloula, rebels commandeered a mountaintop hotel and nearby caves and shelled the community below, said a nun, speaking by phone from a convent in the village. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.” Arabic news agency Al Hadath gives more information concerning this latest terror attack on Syria’s Christians,...
  • Eyewitness: "The aim of the militants was to kill as many as possible Christian inhabitants"

    09/07/2013 6:50:13 PM PDT · by annalex · 60 replies
    Radio Voice of Russia ^ | Sep. 6th, 2013 at 9:30 PM | Naowaf Ibrahim
    Eyewitness: "The aim of the militants was to kill as many as possible Christian inhabitants" On September 5th the Syrian opposition armed groups attempted to capture Maalula, the town populated mostly by Christians, located 60 km from Damascus. The correspondent of "Voice of Russia" got in touch with the eyewitness to the events, which was in town during the assault, Vail Malas. Maalula town is best known for the fact that its inhabitants speak a dialect of Aramaic, which is close to the language of Jesus Christ. Government troops repulsed the attack, but the militants related to "Dzhabhat en-Nusra" and...
  • Obama Has No Red Line for Beheading, Raping Girls and Killing Christians

    09/07/2013 2:38:46 PM PDT · by xzins · 51 replies
    AINA ^ | 9-7-2013 | Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
    President Obama, John Kerry, John McCain and Lindsey Graham are all peddling the anti-Syrian government line and now they have a beloved "red line," whereby they can assist the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and various al-Qaeda terrorist groups. Of course, when Carla del Ponte stated earlier this year that the United Nations believed that terrorist forces had used chemical weapons; then, of course, this was conveniently ignored by America, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Similarly, it appears that Obama, Kerry, McCain and Graham don't believe in a red line when it applies to al-Qaeda affiliates, the Free...
  • Syrian village 'liberated' by rebels... who then forced Christians to convert to Islam

    09/08/2013 4:03:49 PM PDT · by mware · 38 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | Sept 08,2013 | Tara Brady
    A Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of them sporting beards and shouting God is great, attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village overnight. They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village,' said the resident, reached by telephone from neighboring Jordan. 'So many people fled the village for safety.' Now, Maaloula 'is a ghost town. Where is President Obama to see what befallen on us?' asked the man. Another resident who fled the village of 3,000...