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One of the world’s oldest synagogues has reportedly been partially destroyed by Syrian government shelling. The Jobar Synagogue in Damascus is about 2,000 years old, and is thought to have been built on top of a cave where the prophet Elijah concealed himself from persecution.
Syrian rebels blamed regime troops for firing mortars at the building. A video, uploaded by the Syrian opposition’s military council, appears to show that portions of the building and roof were blown off, with debris seen on the ground in front of the synagogue.
Meanwhile, as Syria enters the third year of its bloody civil war, some European countries are expected to break with Washington and start supplying the Syrian rebels with weapons. The EU and US both oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but differ on how best to support the opposition.
While US Secretary of State John Kerry, announced at a conference in Rome on Thursday that USD 60m in “non-lethal” assistance would go to the western-backed Syrian National Coalition, the EU changed its arms embargo on Syria, paving the way for European countries to start arming the rebels in the coming months.
The UN estimates that nearly 70,000 people have died in the fighting between Assad regime forces and Syrian rebels since the conflicted erupted in March 2011.
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