Neither side has ‘rules’ on this by so far (Regime and FSA/rebels) - to avoid/safeguard Syria’s historic cites, assumed both sides have their own reasons (or madness) for not protecting these sites. (And there really aren’t much further checks on ‘why’ on both.)
So there really is no real account on why both sides are doing this -
and we also don’t have credible account of how it happens. (Previously, Aleppo’s old souk’s case).
Anyway, for this location, one account from the October 10th’s point. Not necessarily credible: Regime force was using the mosque as a base - and then rebels launched attacks - then fighting broke out at the mosque.
More recent accounts from rebel’s side are of course different, like it was the regime who set the mosque on fire - etc.
ALEPPO, Syria: Syrian rebels launched an attack on troops in second city Aleppo’s landmark Umayyad Mosque on Wednesday sparking clashes inside the 13th century place of worship, a military source told AFP.
An AFP correspondent witnessed the tail end of the fighting, which the military source said lasted some four hours.
"The rebels broke through the wall of the mosque using RPGs and tried to push inside," the source told AFP.
Fighting raged inside and outside the mosque before the troops repulsed the assault, the source added.
The AFP correspondent said troops had retained control of the mosque itself but that rebel snipers were continuing to shoot at army positions around it.