The cathedral, which is the Melkite headquarters in Damascus, dates back to the 3rd century. In 14th century, Damascus became the seat of the Greek Patriarch of Antioch and the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch continues in that line of succession.
The Melkite Cathedral is located in the city centre, where a number of bombs have exploded. One hundred or more mortar shells fell on the Christian neighbourhoods of the Old City of Damascus in the days following Monday, January 8, 2018. The Melkite Church of the Conversion of St. Paul, in the district of Bab Touma, suﬀered during the assault. At least 30 mortar rounds fell in the area where the cathedral and the patriarchal headquarters are located. Some sources reported that there were fve victims of the shelling.
The attacks came from the East Goutha area, on the outskirts of the capital, which is still controlled by anti-Assad rebels. The mortar rounds did not have a specific target; rather they were fired to increase the tension following a long period of calm. It was not the first time that the bishopric and the Cathedral of the Dormition of Our Lady suﬀered from a violent assault. Both were directly hit during the bombing but also sustained damage from the after-shock, which even injured people several kilometres from the epicenter of the attack. The main door of the Melkite Cathedral was blown up and several windows were shattered. The shelling left several craters in the courtyard of the cathedral