المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

For the 5th consecutive year, the Lebanese Hezbollah continues its sectarian practices and prevents tens of families from returning to their homes in Maaloula under the pretext of “belonging to Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham”

Rif Dimashq Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Lebanese Hezbollah continues for the 5th consecutive year to prevent tens of families -especially those belonging to the Sunni community- from returning to Maaloula city in the western Qalamoun northeast of the capital Damascus, and the Syrian Observatory continues to monitor the developments in the area there, where several reliable sources informed the Syrian Observatory that Hezbollah exiled one of the city’s largest families completely, after arresting 15 young man of the family and prosecuting others, accusing them of coordinating with “Jabhat al-Nusra” Organization which used to control the city in December 2013, while more than 32 families have been prevented from returning to their homes permanently despite their presence in regime forces’-controlled areas in Damascus, also members and leaders of Hezbollah have not only prevented families from returning and arrested their members, but have also burnt tens of houses on charges of belonging to “Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham” and “Opposition Factions” after displacing them to the Syrian north from the villages of the Western Qalamoun, also Hezbollah set military headquarters and security points in several mosques within the city, most notably the Old Mosque and al-Majd Mosque, and not allowing the city’s people who are in Maaloula to practice their religious rituals, and the sources told the Syrian Observatory that during the past month, Hezbollah resettled families of its fighters who are deployed in the city in homes of people displaced to the Syrian north.

Hezbollah with local loyal militias deploys checkpoints and security points at all the entrances and exits of Maaloula, where each checkpoint has about 30 members with several vehicles and cars with heavy machineguns, also there are military barracks in the eastern neighborhood of the city, and the vicinity of the historical monastery Deir Mar Takla (aka Saint Takla), which is one of the most important tourist landmarks of the Christian religion in Syria, as well as establishment training centers by Hezbollah for its members and ammunition depots in the barren mountains of Maaloula.

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