BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian TV says President Bashar Assad has ordered immediate repairs at a historic mosque in the city of Aleppo after fierce fighting between rebels and regime forces set parts of the compound on fire.
Government troops had been holed up inside the place of worship in downtown Aleppo for several months before rebels fighting to topple Assad launched a push to liberate it this week.
The 13th century Umayyad mosque is a UNESCO world heritage site. Now the regime and the rebels are trading accusations over who is responsible for the fire.
Syrian TV said Monday that Assad issued a presidential decree to form a committee to repair the mosque by the end of 2013.
Aleppo has been the scene of intense fighting for months.