Saturday 14 July 2007
Nestled at the foot of Syria’s coastal mountains, an ancient citadel has been put on the tourist map by restoration and excavation that revealed mysteries of the medieval Assassins sect, once based here.
Saladin, the great Kurdish leader, laid siege to Masyaf castle in the 12th century. But he thought twice before launching an assault on the Assassins, who had a reputation for mounting daring operations to slay their foes.
«Anyone who tried to take the Assassins’ castle would be dead the next day», said Haytham Ali Hasan, an archaeologist involved in the restoration project.