Syrian Islamist rebels invade Christian town, say officials
~~By jim Kouri~~
Government-backed troops are defending a historic Christian village under attack by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels.
While President Barack Obama and his minions such as Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel contemplate their strategy this week for convincing Congress and the American people that it's necessary to attack Syrian government forces and installations, an al Qaeda-linked group of rebels violently invaded the predominately Christian town of Maaloula on Sunday, according to a contracted counterterrorism analyst for law enforcement agencies.
The attackers were allegedly members the radical Muslims-group, the al-Nusra Front, Syria's largest Islamist organization espousing Shariah law, said Philip Schulman. The battle for the town began on Saturday night and ended late Sunday morning, he said.
Videos posted on YouTube have shown fighting between alleged Islamist rebels and government forces in in towns and villages outside of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
"It's too early to tell what exactly is happening to the Christians in Maaloula except to say that al-Qaeda, the al-Nusra Front and other radicalized Muslims are known to torture and kill Christians, many times blaming them for being collaborators with the 'crusaders' from the U.S. and Europe," said Schulman
"The Christians also are afraid of witnessing a repeat of what occurred in Iraq during the insurgency with jihadists killing and beating Christians, forcing others to flee from that still violent country," added Schulman.
Thousands of Syria's Christians have escaped persecution by rebel groups fleeing across the border into Lebanon, another Arab nation with a large Christian population. They are usually helped by Christian churches and monasteries.
Last year, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on leaders of al-Nusra while the State Department blacklisted it as a foreign terror organization linked to al Qaeda in Iraq. Yet these are the groups who will benefit from a U.S. attack on the Assad regime, according to former intelligence officer and police investigator Mike Snopes.
"Al-Nusra Front is arguably the most well-trained rebels fighting against the Syrian military. A large number of them come from other radical Muslim communities in Libya and Iraq. Benghazi is a known city that boasts a number of terrorist training camps," Snopes said.
Critics of President Barack Obama claim that his administration's officials have seriously downplayed the role of radical Muslim groups, such as al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in the rebellion. In fact, during his testimony in front of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed the role of the radical Muslim groups was minimal.
"It's ironic that Christians in Syria were better off living under a Ba'ath Party dictator who allowed them a certain amount of religious freedom and protection from radical Muslims. These Islamist rebels are nothing to feel good about if we end up helping them," said a former NYPD police officer, Iris Aquino