Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Monastery claims in Syria conflict

Syria's main opposition group has accused government troops of deploying heavy weapons inside a historic Orthodox monastery north of Damascus.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition said in a statement on Saturday that President Bashar Assad's army has turned the Cherubim Monastery into a base.

From there, they say, troops shell surrounding villages predominantly populated by Sunni Muslims, who dominate rebel ranks.

There was no way to independently confirm the information. Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Previous rebel attacks on government-held Christian villages, particularly by hard-line Islamic militant groups, often lead to allegations that the attackers have vandalised churches or targeted residents. But rebels say some Christian villages have been used as artillery positions.

Christians tend to back Mr Assad, who comes from a Shiite offshoot sect, in Syria's increasingly sectarian war.


Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph