Maaloula has been in the headlines off and on over the past year, with Jabhat al-Nusra seizing the ancient town, sieging the convent there, and kidnapping a group of nuns from there.
Syria’s military has expelled the rebels from the border crossings to Lebanon in recent weeks, and today’s advance seems to be a mop-up mission, as they chase out the last pockets of rebel resistance from the area.
Though Syria’s government is couching this as a turning point in the war, it seems to only be one in the region, as the rebels have been expanding their own hold in the Latakia Province recently, and the situation may simply be nearing an equilibrium where no side can seriously challenge the others’ territory.
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