Syria's Assad pays Easter visit to recaptured Christian town

By REUTERS
April 20, 2014 14:10

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday visited the ancient Christian town of Maaloula recaptured from rebels last week, state media said, a rare appearance outside central Damascus.

Government forces backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah retook Maaloula, north of Damascus, on Monday, the latest in a series of advances against rebels in the Qalamoun mountains area near Lebanon.Assad's visit on Easter Sunday was a rare appearance outside the capital and comes after officials and allies in Lebanon and elsewhere have voiced increasing confidence the threat of the leader is secure in his position.



During the trip to Maaloula, Assad inspected Mar Sarkis - a Greek Orthodox monastery dating to the fourth century - and damage caused to it "at the hands of terrorists," state news agency SANA said, using the government's customary term for the rebels fighting to overthrow Assad.

It said he also inspected the Mar Thecla monastery. Islamist fighters, some from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, had taken over part of the town in December and held several nuns captive until releasing them in March in a prisoner-exchange deal.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
January 22, 2019
Report: We arrested a Mossad agent, Lebanese army officials say

By JPOST.COM STAFF