About a dozen Greek Orthodox nuns held by rebels in Syria for more than three months were released today (March 9, 2014), and are on their way to Damascus via Lebanon, the Reuters website reports.
A Lebanese security source said the nuns had been taken to the Lebanese town of Arsal earlier in the week and were headed to Syria today, accompanied by the head of a Lebanese security agency and a Qatari intelligence official.
After being held in the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Thecla in Maaloula, they were reportedly moved to the rebel-held town of Yabroud, about 13 miles to the north, which is now the focus of a government military operation.
Speaking to reporters at the border, Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Louka al-Khoury welcomed the news. "What the Syrian army achieved in Yabroud facilitated this process," he said.