Exclusive video: Maaloula after liberation by Syrian army

Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:00:21

Syrian troops have cleared the Christian city of Maaloula in Rif Dimashq Governorate from extremist al-Qaeda-linked militants, Al-Alam reports.

The recapture of the city comes after a string of successes for the Syrian army in the strategic al-Qalamoun region, including the freedom of the former militant bastion of Yabrud near Lebanon border last month.

Maaloula fell to hands of al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front last December, as the armed forces focused their attention on capturing towns along the Damascus-Homs highway.

The picturesque town is considered a symbol of the ancient Christian presence in Syria, and its 5,000 pre-war residents are among the few in the world who still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ.

When the town was taken by militants, 13 nuns were captured from their convent and held by Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists until a prisoner swap in March.


string(872) "[{"id":"1540669","sort":"3192081","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/12/03/alalam_635216605980554923_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Fighting continues around Christian town of Maaloula: Video"} ,{"id":"1540848","sort":"3192082","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/12/03/alalam_635216863452286645_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Al-Nusra militants abduct 12 nuns in Maalula"} ,{"id":"1540923","sort":"3192083","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/12/03/alalam_635216985918384114_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria calls for UNSC action on Maaloula attack"} ,{"id":"1585140","sort":"3192084","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/04/14/alalam_635330819344375771_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria army recaptures Christian town of Maaloula"} ,{"id":"1585234","sort":"3192085","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/04/14/alalam_635331071596861422_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Three Al-Manar staffers killed in Syria's Maalula"} ]"