It is one of the oldest mosques in Syria’s city of Aleppo and is famously believed to house the remains of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah.
However the 12th century Sunni mosque has been the scene of intense fighting between rebel and government forces recently.
Footage from YouTube shows rebel fighters seeking shelter after its famous minaret tower was destroyed. Rebels claim tank shells brought the structure down, however government media is reporting that the rebels destroyed it themselves.
The mosque fell into rebel hands earlier this year after heavy fighting that damaged the historic compound. The area around it however remains contested is the scene of intense fighting.
The Umayyad Mosque is inside Aleppo’s walled Old City, and is a Unesco World Heritage site. It is the second instance where a historic Sunni mosque was heavily damaged recently.
The minaret of the historic Omari Mosque, built in the 7th century, in the southern city of Daraa was destroyed just over a week ago. Both regime and rebel sides have blamed each other for that damage.
Many mosques have been targeted by government forces because they acted as staging posts for anti-government protests in the early days of the Syrian uprising.