Syrian Government Says Maaloula's Sites Sacked By Rebels, AL-Monitor
"An official report issued by the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) for the Rif Damascus governorate revealed the destruction inflicted upon the city of Maaloula and its historical Christian sites, weeks after the army regained control of the city. This report was issued after a visit made by a specialized mission of the Directorate to probe the level of losses incurred by the city.
"According to a report by the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums for the Rif Damascus governorate, Christian sites in the historic town of Maaloula have suffered substantial damage.
"The Syria Steps website published yesterday [May 2] a government report that lists the damage inflicted upon the city, its surroundings, the hill of the semi-destroyed Safir Maaloula Hotel and the caves that are in the vicinity of the town. These caves have been dug in search of treasures and have been used for fortifications.
"The “armed opposition” has damaged historical Christian sites in the city, destroyed sites and altars, painted over traditional icons and paintings, removed and burned crosses, searched for treasures under altars and in tombs, and searched among the remains of monks and nuns..."