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The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria

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Syrian government troops have forced rebels out of the ancient Christian town of Maaloula. Find out more in this RIA Novosti photo chronicle.

Syrian government troops have forced rebels out of the ancient Christian town of Maaloula. Find out more in this RIA Novosti photo chronicle.

© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankGovernment forces have regained control of Syria’s oldest Christian town, Maaloula. It is one of the few places in the world where some residents can still speak Aramaic, the language Jesus Christ is believed to have spoken.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
1/11
Government forces have regained control of Syria’s oldest Christian town, Maaloula. It is one of the few places in the world where some residents can still speak Aramaic, the language Jesus Christ is believed to have spoken.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankMaaloula is a small town located 55 km (34 miles) north of Damascus at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
2/11
Maaloula is a small town located 55 km (34 miles) north of Damascus at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters.
© Sputnik / Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankThis picturesque mountain town, surrounded by vineyards and hermits’ caves, is an island of Christianity in Syria.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
3/11
This picturesque mountain town, surrounded by vineyards and hermits’ caves, is an island of Christianity in Syria.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankGovernment forces launched an attack to regain Maaloula on Sunday.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
4/11
Government forces launched an attack to regain Maaloula on Sunday.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankThe rebels entered Maaloula on Thursday and two days later forced government forces to withdraw.
Photo: Government troops sleep and load their weapons while their artillery is shelling the rebels’ positions.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
5/11
The rebels entered Maaloula on Thursday and two days later forced government forces to withdraw.
Photo: Government troops sleep and load their weapons while their artillery is shelling the rebels’ positions.
© Sputnik / Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankThe military says the majority of residents have fled Maaloula.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
6/11
The military says the majority of residents have fled Maaloula.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankThe fighting was complicated by the fact that government troops are not permitted to open fire from tanks or artillery on religious buildings, regardless of whether they belong to the Christian or Muslim faiths.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
7/11
The fighting was complicated by the fact that government troops are not permitted to open fire from tanks or artillery on religious buildings, regardless of whether they belong to the Christian or Muslim faiths.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankThere are two unique monasteries in Maaloula – the Greek Orthodox Mar Thecla and Greek Catholic Mar Sarkis.
Photo: Government tank operators on the road to Maaloula.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
8/11
There are two unique monasteries in Maaloula – the Greek Orthodox Mar Thecla and Greek Catholic Mar Sarkis.
Photo: Government tank operators on the road to Maaloula.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankA tank operator gestures to show that running across a street that is under fire from rebels should only be attempted in pairs.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
9/11
A tank operator gestures to show that running across a street that is under fire from rebels should only be attempted in pairs.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankGovernment tank operators in the center of Maaloula.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
10/11
Government tank operators in the center of Maaloula.
© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin / Go to the photo bankGovernment troops rest during artillery shelling of the rebels’ positions.
The Battle Over a Christian Enclave in War-Torn Syria - Sputnik International
11/11
Government troops rest during artillery shelling of the rebels’ positions.
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