Syrian rebels from the al-Qaeda-linked faction Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the Christian village of Maaloula today, seizing control of a mountain-top hotel and using it to launch mortars against the surrounding area, forcing the locals to hide in a convent.
Al-Qaeda has accused Syria’s Christian minority of being “pro-Assad,” though as a practical matter they are simply averse to the Islamist-dominated rebels that are constantly attacking them.
Overall casualties from the attack is not yet clear, but rebel reports claim at least eight government soldiers were killed in the fighting, and at least one Nusra fighter died in a suicide bombing.
Islamist rebels also attacked Mushirfeh, a town in Homs Province, killing nine people in that raid. The identities of the victims were unclear, but much of the recent fighting in Homs has involved attacks on members of the nation’s Alawite minority.