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Syria: West-backed terrorists kill a priest, earlier a Muslim cleric & evacuate, loot Daraa historic sites

US-backed Takfiri militants behead 2 Christians including priest in Homs

Press TV

A shocking video has emerged on the Internet showing US-backed Takfiri militants in Syria brutally beheading two Christians including a priest in the western city of Homs.

In the gruesome footage recently posted online, the militants who are said to be members of the terrorist al-Nusra Front, cut off the heads of two handcuffed men, including Father Francois Murad, with a small knife in front of a crowd of people.

This is not the first time that the US-backed terrorists who are fighting against the Syrian government commit such grisly crimes against innocent civilians in the war-torn country.

In March, a Muslim cleric was beheaded in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo by militants, who decapitated Sheikh Hassan Saif al-Deen before dragging his lifeless body on the streets.

Local media blamed the beheading on the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra.

Foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria, which erupted in March 2011, has claimed the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel.

The al-Nusra Front has been behind many of the deadly bombings targeting both civilians and government institutions across Syria since the beginning of the violence.

In an interview broadcast on Turkish television in April, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said if the militants take power in Syria, they could destabilize the entire Middle East region for decades.

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Syria Terrorists Evacuate, Loot Daraa Historic Sites

Al Ahed news

An official source at Syrian Antiquities department said that 11 historic towns and sites in the Daraa came under attack and sabotage by the armed terrorist groups, causing huge damages to their layers and looting their rich values.

“The majority of regions which were subject to acts of secret excavations, sabotage and looting are in Daraa’s western countryside where the armed terrorist groups are active, ” the source added.

He further clarified that those regions are well-known of their historic richness as they are considered one of the most ancient sites in the world where they have witnessed the succession of a number of civilizations.

“Tal Shihab was one of the sites which witnessed acts of digging in the historic hill, the surrounding valley and on the two banks of the railway to the south of hill in addition to excavations of the walls and mills of Tal shihab,” the source said.

In parallel, he confirmed that “acts of secret excavations extended to Kharab al-Shahm town and to the bottom of the valley through hand-made tools and heavy vehicles, while Sahm al-Jolan has witnessed the demolition of historic houses and secret excavations in addition to the border villages of Abdeen, Tal al-Ashaari which are considered as one of the most important historic sites in Syria.”

“The families in the area notified the Directorate about the existence of groups dividing themselves to 5 workshops which periodically excavate the sites through heavy vehicles, and this indicates to a systemized looting process of the historic belongings of Tal al-Ashaarai,” the source said.

He confirmed that the systemized terrorism against Syria’s civilization and history is considered as a big crime, and those who trade with the Syrian treasures don’t differ from the perpetrators of bloody crimes.

The source called on the neighboring countries, particularly Jordan to assume responsibility, retune the looted ruins and extradite the thieves to the Syrian authorities.

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Russia denies reports on closure of embassy in Syria

Press TV

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has rejected as “speculation and provocation” reports suggesting that Moscow plans to close its embassy in the crisis-hit Syria, as well as its naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus.

“All these rumors are speculation and provocation aimed at preparing the public for the efforts to change the regime [in Syria],” Lavrov said in a press conference after talks with his Moroccan counterpart Saad al-Din al-Osmani in Moscow on Friday.

Lavrov added that “the Russian Embassy is working in a normal mode as regards the fulfillment of its functions as a diplomatic mission.”

Regarding the Tartus naval base, Lavrov said the “naval logistics facility operates normally. Evacuation of this base or its personnel is not on the agenda.”

Earlier in mid June, al-Hayat newspaper quoted Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying that Russia had evacuated all military personnel from its small naval base in Syria.

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