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

CEO of French Oil Giant Total Killed in Moscow Plane Crash

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 22:44 PM

The CEO of French oil company Total, Christophe de Margerie, died in a plane crash at a Moscow airport after his private . . .

Planet Marks Hottest September Since 1880

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 12:38 PM

Last month was the hottest September for globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces since record-keeping . . .

Study: 2,000 Treated for Female Genital Mutilation in UK

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 14:35 PM

A shocking study in England has revealed that the British National Health Service has treated nearly 2,000 women in the  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

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