An Orthodox Monastery attacked in Syria

Moscow, August 19, 2013

Armed extremists who had filtered into the Holms-Tartus motorway district, on August 17 attacked the Orthodox Monastery of St. George--one of the most ancient Christian Monasteries in the west of Syria, built in the 4th century. It was reported to the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS) over the telephone from the town of Marmarita (65 kilometres from Holms) by a local resident named Milyad. According to him, the militants were met with resistance from volunteers of the People's Defense Forces.

"During the fierce skirmish, eleven Christian soldiers were killed; but they prevented desecration of the Holy Monastery," stressed Milyad. The extremists incurred casualties and retreated to the El Hosn district where the medieval crusaders' Krak des Chevaliers castle is situated. According to the eyewitness, there were many "aliens"--mercenary-jihadists, among the attackers.

For many years, the Abbot of the St. George Monastery in Humeyr was the present Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Antioch John X (Yazigi). His brother, Metropolitan Paul (Yazigi) of Aleppo was kidnapped on April 22 in the north of Syria while on a humanitarian mission together with a companion, the Syriac Metropolitan Johanna Ibrahim.

The fate of both Hierarchs is still unknown. The An-Nahar Lebanese daily newspaper, which is close to the Christian elite, denied on Wednesday the speculations made in the press that the Metropolitans were allegedly murdered by the militants.

21 августа 2013 г.

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