The role of Halesh in the looting campaign of Ma’lula was highlighted yesterday when one of the organization terrorist, Salama Tufaili, was arrested by the Lebanese Security during his attempt to smuggle and sell an old holy book adorned with gold, that he looted 2 years ago in Ma’lula by the regime and its militias.
In 2014, after the rebels withdrew from the town of Sarkha, the regime forces and militias took over Ma’lula in alQalamun where a majority of christians live, and took over the strategic hilltops that overlook the Lebanese border to Rankus. At that time, Halesh Terrorists were accused to loot the churches and the houses in Ma’alula, and then the regime claimed to have returned most of the looted items to Ma’lula churches.
In an interview to al Manar the same year, Father Makarius Qaluma, Secretary of Antioch Patriarch and for all the Eastern Catholic Melkites, accused some countries, without naming them, to be behind looting the Ma’lula churches. His claims were confirmed after Putin appeared in the Great Church in Moscow carrying one Holy Icon looted in Ma’lula. The regime issue a statement then, that Assad gave it as a gift to Putin.
Source: Orient TV News arabic