Russian airstrike heavily damages Ottoman-era Aleppo mosque

 What remains of the Agha Jaq mosque. Photo courtesy of the Aleppo Media Center.

A Russian airstrike reportedly targeted an Ottoman-era mosque on Tuesday, killing at least 10 worshipers and heavily damaging the historic site, reported pro-opposition Aleppo Media Center in a video posted to YouTube Tuesday.

It is not clear what hit the Agha Jaq Mosque during Asr (afternoon) prayers in the rebel-held Qadi Askar neighborhood in Aleppo city, reported the pro-opposition Syrian Human Rights Committee on Tuesday.  

The Qadi Askar neighborhood is located in the heart of Aleppo’s ancient city and many houses and structures within it date back to the Ottoman era (16th to 20th centuries).

 Photo courtesy of the Aleppo Media Center.

“The Ottomans built a mosque for us every 100 meters in this neighborhood,” said a man at the scene of the attack in an interview with Aleppo Media Center, “while Bashar al-Assad is destroying a mosque every 100 meters.” [Ed.: Syrians widely refer to the Ottoman period as “the Ottoman occupation.”]

Mosque bombings are now commonplace, a surgeon’s assistant in opposition-held Aleppo told Syria Direct on Wednesday.

“Every Friday, we are all on standby during the time for Friday prayer when mosques are targeted during the prayer time, whether by Russian planes or surface-to-surface missiles launched by the regime,” said Yaseen Nahhas.

Nisreen A-Nasser

Nisreen was born in Homs and received her diploma in electronics. She is passionate about photography, photoshop and has worked in the field of media to improve her skills. She moved to Jordan after the Syrian revolution began. Nisreen is interested in journalism because she wants to shine a light on forgotten stories from within her country.

Samuel Kieke

Samuel Kieke was a 2014-2015 CASA I fellow in Amman, Jordan. He received his BA from the University of Texas at Austin in Arabic Language and Literature, Middle Eastern Studies, and International Relations and Global Studies.