A branch of al-Qaeda fighting in the Syrian civil war has seized one of the few remaining villages where the original language of Christ is still spoken, residents say.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, rebel groups, a mix of the extremist Jabhat al-Nusra and the more moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA), attacked with full force.
“First they took a brick factory owned by a Christian guy, who is now missing,” said the resident. “Then at around 5.30am, a car bomb detonated at the checkpoint at the entrance to the village.
“Some of the rebels entered a home near the checkpoint belonging to Yousef Haddad, a Christian. They tried to force him to convert to Islam.”
A nun living in a convent in the village told the Associated press that 27 orphans living in the convent were taken to nearby caves for shelter.