Syrian regime soldiers take over Maaloula
Agence France Presse reported Monday that Syrian regime soldiers have reclaimed Maaloula in the Damascus province four months after Islamist rebels took over the Christian stronghold.
"The army has taken full control of Maaloula and restored security and stability," a regime security official said.
Maaloula, which is considered a major symbol of the ancient Christian roots in the region, used to be home to approximately 5,000 people before the war, and has recently received media attention due to the Al Qaeda-linked nun kidnapping that was settled in March this year.
Syrian regime forces seem to be advancing on all fronts, capturing strategic locations in the Qalamoun region near the Lebanese border as well.