Civil war gives Syrian minorities no clear option

In this Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 photo, a Syrian flag is seen on the ground next to the mosaic of Santa Ana, at the Santa Ana Armenian Orthodox church, which was use as a base by the Syrian army forces, at the Christian village of Yacobiyeh, in Idlib province, Syria. Yacobiyeh and its neighbors, Judeida and Quniya, are some of the first Christian villages to be taken by the rebel Syrian Army. The rebels stormed these hilltop villages in late January, after the army used it as a base to shell nearby rebel-controlled areas. The villages are largely empty due to the fighting, with a few mostly elderly Christians -- including Roman Catholics and Armenian Orthodox _ living among Sunni Muslim refugees who have moved up here from the plains. They still face sporadic artillery bombardment from below.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)YACOUBIYEH, Syria (AP) — During the battle over this hilltop village in northern Syria, many of its residents fled, leaving behind empty homes, damaged churches and a large statue of the Virgin Mary in the deserted town square — all relics of its Christian population.

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