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During my stay at Qara, Syria, upon my request, the Monestary, in co-operation, with the youth, from the relief Organization, organized a trip to Maaloula, a secluded town in the Qalamoun mountains, predominantly Christian, which treasures a beautiful monestrary, which is on the world heritage list of Unesco, but sadly partly ruined by the takfiri sponsored terrorists, back in 2013 and 2014.
Battle of Maaloula
The Battle of Maaloula was a battle fought in September 2013, when takfiri, western sponsored terrorists attacked the town of Maaloula, a Christian town with an Aramean population that speaks Aramaic, to be said the language of Jesus.
According to the information from residents, jihadist from the Al-Nusra Front (which the Syrians call Daesh) had been based in the mountains near the Safir hotel since March 2013. It was reported that the jihadists were terrorizing the Christian people of the village. After the conquer of the town, they made up their HQ in the once so beautiful Al-Safir Hotel, in which I stayed before the war, a jewel, which is now sadly destroyed.
On 4 September 2013, a truck driven by a Jordanian suicide bomber exploded near a checkpoint of the Syrian Army at the entrance of Maaloula. The explosion gave the signal for the attack. The jihadists took control of the checkpoint, killing eight soldiers and destroyed two tanks, while the Syrian Air Force led three raids against the checkpoint after its capture. During the fighting, jihadists captured the Safir hotel and used it at their HQ to kill and fire in the direction of the people of Maaloula. At the end of the day, the western sponsored Jihadist took control of Maaloula.
On 9 September 2013, Syrian Army troops launched an offensive to retake the town and jihadist-held positions in the surrounding hills. From the 3000 inhabitants of the town, only 50 had remained during the fighting, according to a resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from jihadists. The Syrian Army warned them to leave the town, because, a counterattack was underway.
On 10 September 2013, jihadist forces declared their withdrawal from Maaloula under the condition that the Army and pro-government militias would also not enter the town. However, by the next day, the jihadists had not retreated and fighting inside the town was still going on. Later in the day, government forces had captured large parts of the town. On 15 September 2013, the Syrian Army liberated Maaloula.
On 29 November 2013, a coalition of terrorists including Jabhat al-Nusra swept into Maaloula from the surrounding hills. During the weekend, twelve nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Tekla were kidnapped and taken towards the border town of Yabroud. At the time the kidnappers claimed that they were not abducting the nuns. However, two months later the nuns were ransomed in exchange for government held prisoners. The west was silent during the abduction and the destruction of Maaloula and Yabroud and claimed, through their only source the SOHR, that they were rebels and not religious motivated in Yabroud and Maaloula. The truth is that is was and the west, among them the Netherlands are indirectly guilty of cleansing of population in either Maaloula and Yabroud.
On 14 April 2014, with the help of Hezbollah, the Syrian Army once more took control of Maaloula.
After taking a long walk through Maaloula, we could see the destruction which was done by the terrorists, especially the Safir Hotel, which was the HQ of Al-Nusra (Daesh, all Syrians have one word for all these different terorists). They destroyed the whole building, which was once a beautiful hotel.
Source: residents Maaloula, Youth Qara, wikipedia, pictures: Claudius Lucassen.