D.C. (PRWEB) May 27, 2014
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria, a coalition of groups representing over 100,000 Syrian-Americans, decries and mourns the Assad regime's destruction of Eliyahu Hanabi Synagogue on Monday. The synagogue, located in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus, was said to mark the site where the prophet Elijah hid from his persecutors. It was one of the oldest synagogues in the world.
As reported by The Daily Beast, the Assad regime has been bombarding Jobar, one of the few rebel strongholds in Damascus proper, for a number of months as part of its "scorched-earth" policy of destroying civilian areas. In previous weeks, Assad forces have especially targeted the environs of the synagogue, destroying numerous historical houses built in the "Damascus" architectural style. This put Eliyahu Hanabi Synagogue directly in the line of fire, and it has become the latest casualty of Assad's "scorched-earth" policy.
The Daily Beast Exclusive Photos: Syria’s Oldest Synagogue, Destroyed by Assad
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the destruction of Jobar Synagogue, which was a treasure of Jewish and Syrian cultural heritage," said Shlomo Bolts, a Jew of Syrian ancestry and the Policy and Advocacy Officer at Syrian American Council, a Coalition for a Democratic Syria member organization. "Yet this is hardly the only place of worship to be destroyed by the Assad regime. The Umm al-Zinar Church, the Khalid Ibn Walid Mosque, and countless other irreplaceable cultural sites are now lost to history due to a dictator's manic desire to keep power at all costs."
The Umm al-Zinar Church (Saint Mary Church of the Holy Belt), a 2000-year-old church located in the Homs Old City, was destroyed by regime bombardments in 2012. The Khalid Ibn Walid Mosque, a mosque in the Khalidiya area of Homs dating back to the 7th century, was destroyed during the regime assault on Khalidiya in mid-2013. Activists estimate that at least 33 churches and hundreds of mosques have been destroyed by the Assad regime since the start of the Syrian Revolution.
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. The CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization. The CDS includes: Syrian Emergency Task Force, Syrian American Council, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Alliance, Syrian Christians for Peace, Syrian Christians for Democracy, and the Association of Free Syrians.