Christian village in Syria besieged by rebels with Al Qaeda ties

The Aramaic-speaking village of  Maaloula, 40 miles north of Damascus, was the scene of a boloody confrontation  between Syrian troops and anti-government rebels with the Al Qaeda-affiliated  Jabhat al-Nusra.

It’s the nightmare scenario that opponents of military action against the  Syrian regime have been warning Congress about – rebels with Al Qaeda ties  besieging a Christian village where residents still speak the language of  Jesus.

And as the fighting raged Wednesday in Maaloula, more than 80 frightened  villagers took shelter in a convent that’s already home to 13 nuns and 27  orphans.

“It’s a war,” a frightened nun who asked not to be identified told the  Associated Press. “It has been going from 6 a.m. in the morning.”

The siege of Maaloula, a village of about 2,000 where people still speak a  version of Aramaic, began early Wednesday in classic Islamic terrorist fashion  when a Jabhat al-Nusra rebel blew himself up at a regime checkpoint near the  entrance to town.

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