Historic Damascus synagogue looted and burned

Rebels, Assad forces trade blame for destruction of ancient synagogue built atop a cave used by prophet Elijah.

Jobar synagogue in Damascus.

Jobar synagogue in Damascus. Photo: YouTube Screenshot

The 2,000-year-old Jobar Synagogue in the Syrian capital of Damascus was looted and burned to the ground.

The Syrian army loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebel forces are blaming each other for the destruction of the historic synagogue, according to reports on Sunday.

The rebels said the Syrian government looted the synagogue before burning it to the ground, Israel Radio reported Sunday.

The government said the rebels burned the synagogue and that so-called Zionist agents stole its historic religious items in an operation that had been planned for several weeks, the Arabic Al-Manar Television reported, citing the Arabic Syria Truth website.

The synagogue, one of the oldest in the world, was damaged earlier this month by mortars reportedly fired by Syrian government forces. A video posted online by the Syrian opposition shows extensive damage done to the outside of the synagogue

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