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Iran Press TV

Syrian army retakes almost full control of Ma'loula

Iran Press TV

Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:25PM GMT

Syrian army has taken almost full control of the Christian town of Ma'loula, pushing foreign-backed militants out of the historic town, Press TV reports.

According to Press TV correspondent in Ma'loula, 90 percent of the town is now under government control and the militants have retreated to mountains surrounding Ma'loula.

Fierce clashes still continue in the town, which is reported to be almost empty of civilians.

Militants from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and the Qalamun Liberation Front attacked Ma'loula, which is located about 70 kilometers northeast of Damascus, last Wednesday and captured some parts of it.

One resident said militants burned a church on the western side of the town and stormed into two other churches and robbed them. Another resident said the militants attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after entering the village.

The historic village, which is on a UNESCO list of world heritage sites, is home to two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria: Mar Sarkis and Mar Takla. Some villagers there still speak a version of Aramaic, an ancient language believed to have been spoken by Jesus Christ.


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