Syrian Christian nuns still held by militants

Foreign-backed militants in Syria have still not released several Christian nuns they captured in Ma’loula, while most international media outlets are not covering the issue.

The extremists have targeted the ancient Christian town of Ma’loula for months, but few are aware of it because of the media blackout.

On December 2, 2013, the militants abducted 12 nuns from the town’s Mar Takla Orthodox convent.

A day later, Febronia Nabhan, Mother Superior at Saidnaya Convent, said that the nuns and three other women had been kidnapped from another convent in Ma’loula and taken to the nearby town of Yabroud.

Meanwhile, armed insurgents continue to attack a monastery in the Qalamoun region in an effort to take over the town of Saidnaya.

Saidnaya is a Christian town that has some of the oldest convents on Earth, like the Convent of Our Lady. Its residents support the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.

In an interview with Argentina’s Clarin newspaper in May 2013, President Assad said militants from 29 different countries were fighting against the government in different parts of the country.

A British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.

The extracts of the study by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s were published on September 16, 2013.

 

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