BEIRUT

Middle East

Syrian opposition: Army turned monastery into base

A damaged vehicle and barricade block a deserted street in the Harasta area in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus November 22, 2013. REUTERS/William Ismail

BEIRUT: Syria's main opposition group is accusing government troops of deploying heavy weapons inside a historic Orthodox monastery north of Damascus.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition said in a statement 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 vandalized churches or targeted residents. But rebels say some Christian villages have been used as artillery positions.

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

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here