Reports: Two Mortar Shells Strike Christian Town in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- Foreign-backed militants in Syria have launched an attack on the Christian town of Saidnaya near the capital, Damascus, reports said.

The attack was carried out on Monday when two mortar shells fired by the militants hit a school and St. Georges Monastery in the town, which is located in the countryside of Damascus, press tv reported.

There has been no immediate report on possible casualties.

Some 1.8 million Christians reside in Syria, making up about 10 percent of the country’s population. The religious minority has been subjected to numerous attacks by extremist groups since the outbreak of violence in the country in March 2011.

In October 2013, the Syrian army managed to take back control of the ancient Christian town of Sadad, situated North of Damascus, from Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Also in September, members of the al-Nusra Front terrorist group briefly took over the Christian town of Ma’loula, which is home to two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria. Syrian troops have managed to recapture most areas of the town.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011.

According to reports, the western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.