Flicking through before-and-after photos of Aleppo's Umayyad mosque on his phone, the city's mufti Mahmoud Akkam said he initially wanted the celebrated landmark to be restored by fellow Syrians. But when Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman chief of Russia's Chechnya region, offered to repair the damage that the ancient mosque sustained in ferocious clashes four years ago, Akkam felt he could not say no.
Syrian government forces backed by Russia are intensifying their bombing campaign in rebel-held Eastern Aleppo, retaking some parts of the city but leaving many civilians homeless. Debora Patta reports.
Syrian rebels and regime trade blame for destruction of Umayyad mosque in Aleppo's UNESCO-listed Old City.
The Syrian government and rebels blamed each other for the destruction of the minaret of the 11th century Umayyad Mosque in the ancient city of Aleppo. One archaeologist described the damage as "a disaster."
Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov on Tuesday confirmed that troops from the mainly Muslim Caucasus region were serving as Russian military police in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo. Kadyrov wrote on Instagram that MP Adam Delimkha...