Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/25/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

World heritage site Umayyad Mosque minaret reduced to rubble

War makes no distinction when it comes to landmarks or culturally and historically significant structures. Centuries old buildings and monuments have all been snatched up into the flames of war and have been completely destroyed without a moment's thought. This has been the fate of Syria's Umayyad Mosque's minaret, in the city of Aleppo, reduced to rubble by tank fire.

The minaret is now little more than bricks, mortar and dust in the mosque's tiled courtyard.

The minaret is now little more than bricks, mortar and dust in the mosque's tiled courtyard.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/25/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Ummayad Mosque, Aleppo, Syria, civil war, rebels


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Syria's state news agency Sana has accused rebels of blowing up the 11th-Century minaret. Activists, in response say the minaret was hit by Syrian army tank fire.

A UNESCO world heritage site, the mosque has been in rebel hands since earlier this year. The area around it is still contested. The mosque was badly damaged by fire during heavy fighting in the Old City in October of last year. UNESCO appealed at that time for the protection of the site, which it described as "one of the most beautiful mosques in the Muslim world."

The minaret is now little more than bricks, mortar and dust in the mosque's tiled courtyard.

The Great Mosque, at the heart of the Old City of Aleppo, was founded by the Umayyad dynasty in 715 on the site of a Byzantine church. The mosque had to be rebuilt after being damaged by a fire in 12th Century, and again following the Mongol invasion in 1260.

Other parts of the mosque complex have been recently damaged by gunfire and shell hits.

Sana reported that fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra group had destroyed the once famous landmark, quoting an official source saying that "terrorists... placed explosive materials in the minaret and the mosque's southern door and set them off."

Aleppo-based activist Mohammed al-Khatib said a tank shell had "totally destroyed" the 148-foot minaret.

Reports note that some ancient artifacts have also been looted, including a box purported to contain a strand of the Prophet Muhammad's hair. Rebels claim that they had salvaged ancient handwritten Koranic manuscripts and hidden them.

Rebels and government forces had reportedly clashed near Aleppo as they fought for control of a military airbase. Rebels took a key military position outside the Minnigh airport and launched another raid, according to opposition activists with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The rebels, who have laid siege to the airport for months now, entered it for the first time around dawn," Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the UK-based activist group said.

Losing control of the airport would be a strategic blow for the government, analysts say.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Middle East

BIGGEST IN THE WORLD: Saudi Arabia determined to build world's tallest building Watch

Image of High winds will also be a problem for this gargantuan building, so the tower will change shape regularly to counter it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not be outdone, Saudi Arabia is vowing to build the world's tallest building. Said structure, called the Kingdom Tower, heads into construction next week. AT its height, 3,280 feet, it will eventually dwarf Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,716 feet, the ... continue reading


AL-QAEDA ALIVE: 'We must eliminate the cross ... The bearer of the cross is America!' Watch

Image of  In the video, the nefarious

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"This is quite an extraordinary video," terrorist experts Paul Cruickshank says. There's another word for it: absolutely horrifying. In the video, the nefarious "crown prince" of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen addressing a group of 100 like-minded ... continue reading


Suffering, dying in silence: Syrian Christians face arduous holy week Watch

Image of Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a seemingly endless Way of the Cross, with many suffering and dying in silence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The assassination of Dutch Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt, shot to death by an unknown assailant at his base in Homs, Syria on April 7 has cast a pall for the faithful here. Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a ... continue reading


Asia Bibi remains in prison, reluctant officials hide behind bureaucracy Watch

Image of Asia Bibi remains in prison, judges unwilling to take up her case for fear of violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy in Pakistan still sits in a women's prison her case held up by deliberate delays and a reluctance of judges and others to hear her case. Officials are afraid that they will become targets of Islamic ... continue reading


Dutch priest beaten, killed at his Syrian monastery Watch

Image of Father Frans van der Lugt was described as a man of great courage who

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dutch Jesuit priest, 75-year-old Frans van der Lugt was beaten and shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his monastery in Homs, Syria this week, the Vatican said. He had been living in Syria since the early Seventies. He's being described as man of great courage ... continue reading


Tunisian government strives to root out Islamist influence from Mosques Watch

Image of Tunisia's newly elected government, recognizing that one of the nation's chief sources of revenue is tourism, has wasted little time in quelling extremist factions there.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Tunisian authorities, along with the Islamist party Ennahda had clashed on several levels for any months. The conflict was felt on all strata of Tunisian society. Violence roiled in the streets, to the universities, in places of worship and private homes. ... continue reading


Syrian refugees in Lebanon passes one million mark Watch

Image of U.N. staff in Lebanon register 2,500 new Syrian refugees every day, the UNHCR said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Syria's devastating Civil War drags into its fourth year without an end in sight, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has officially passed the one million mark, the United Nations' refugee agency says. Syrian refugees now make up almost a quarter of ... continue reading


Meet Catholic Online's new Middle East correspondent Watch

Image of Kaci Racelma received his Bachelor of English literature in 1996. He has worked in the daily Algerian newspaper la Nouvelle République since 1998.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Journalist Kaci Racelma has joined the Catholic Online family as a much needed and vaunted Middle East correspondent to our international news desk. We welcome his wealth of experience in relaying breaking stories in this complex part of the world.  LOS ... continue reading


Authorities break up kiddie sex abuse ring, 17-year-old pimp and several men arrested Watch

Image of Several hundred women in Israel - many of them foreigners - are trafficked within the country annually for commercial sexual exploitation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tel Aviv Police have arrested seven men in connection with a child molestation ring. An undercover investigation began after one of the purported victims came forward and told them about a number of girls who had sex with a group of adults in exchange for ... continue reading


New Saudi Arabian law defines atheists as 'terrorists' Watch

Image of Saudi King Abdullah has clamped down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report from Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists. King Abdullah has issued Royal Decree 44, which criminalizes "participating in hostilities outside the kingdom" with prison ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter