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Incursion of Islamist Militias in the Christian City of Sadad

Incursion of the Islamist in the city of Sadad

UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

Agenzia Fides - published on 10/24/13

The Christian city of Sadad becomes embroiled in battle between the army of Assad and rebel militias hegemonized by Islamist groups.

The Christian city of Sadad, situated in a strategic area along the road that joins Homs to Damascus, has been since yesterday at the center of the battle between the army of Assad and rebel militias hegemonized by Islamist groups.

The assault of Sadad by rebel militias took place on Monday afternoon, October 21. According to local sources, also re-launched by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, the raid took place in a similar way to that suffered a month ago in the historic Christian village of Maalula.

Several hundred men distributed among the elements of the brigades al-Faruk and Islamists of the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the East entered in Sadad from three directions, with thirty military vehicles, targeting initially the city hospital and seizing government buildings.

On Tuesday, the army began a counteroffensive, intervening in support of the local police forces. Meanwhile, some of the 15 thousand inhabitants– mostly Orthodox Christians and Catholics of the Syro rite– began their exodus in the direction of the artery link between Damascus and Homs, which is 15 kilometers.

The biblical city of Sadad, cited in the Book of Numbers and the Book of Ezekiel, is 95 kilometers from Damascus and sixty from Homs. The city is home to two churches dedicated to St. Sergius and St. Theodore, famous for their frescoes. 

Originally published by Agenzia Fides on 23 October 2013.

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