Syria Rebels Still in Historic Christian Town of Maalula

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 04:36 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian rebels were still positioned in a historic Christian town near Damascus on Wednesday, a day after they announced they were ready to withdraw, a security source told AFP.

"The army has not yet retaken Maalula. The battles are raging on, but [the army] is making progress," the source said on condition of anonymity. "The rebels still hold some pockets of resistance inside Maalula and its surroundings."

Rebels announced on Tuesday they would withdraw from Maalula, but that their withdrawal was "conditional" on pro-regime forces not taking their place.

"The army and its shabiha [militias] must not enter into the town," a spokesman for the rebels said via an online video statement.

"To ensure no blood is spilled and that the properties of the people of Maalula are kept safe, the Free Syrian Army announces that the town of Maalula will be kept out of the struggle between the FSA and the regime army," the spokesman said.

On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and residents said rebel forces, including jihadists linked to al-Qaida, had overrun Maalula.

The town, home to about 5,000 people, is strategically important for rebels, who are trying to tighten their grip around Damascus and already have bases all around the capital.

Civilians started fleeing the town nearly a week ago, fearing an imminent escalation.

Picturesque Maalula, nestled under a large cliff, is considered a symbol of the Christian presence in Syria.

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

U.S. Separatists Watching With Glee as Scots Vote

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 13:55 PM

As Scottish voters weigh in on national independence, separatist groups inside the United States are nodding in approval . . .

Pope Francis: Christians Joining Jews in Suffering Religious Persecution

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 13:44 PM

It is Christianity's turn to suffer religious persecution, Pope Francis told a World Jewish Congress delegation visiti . . .

Scottish 'Yes' Campaign Pulled Page from Obama Playbook

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 11:11 AM

The campaign for Scottish independence is taking a cue from one of the most successful political playbooks in history -  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved