beirut

The minaret of Aleppo's ancient Umayyad mosque was destroyed on Wednesday, Syrian state media reported, with the regime and the opposition blaming each other.

An archaeological treasure in Aleppo's Unesco-listed Old City, the mosque has been the centre of fighting for months and had already suffered extensive damage. The Umayyad mosque was originally built in the 8th century but was apparently destroyed and then rebuilt in the 13th century. It has recently fallen back into rebel hands, but has been left pockmarked by bullets and stained with soot.

As with multiple other attacks in Syria's spiralling conflict, which the UN says has left more than 70,000 people dead, the regime and the Opp blamed each other for the damage.

State media said jihadist Al-Nusra Front fighters blew up the minaret, and accused the group classed by the US as a "terrorist" organisation of seeking to blame loyalist forces. But rebels, the Opp and activists all said the army was responsible.

UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi Wednesday suggested the UNSC consider an arms embargo on both sides of Syria's conflict during a closed-door meeting. Brahimi "emphasised the need for a political solution along the lines of the Geneva Communique and warned against the growing militarisation and radicalization inside Syria," Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman said.

On the battlefront, Syria's army seized Otaybeh, a key town east of Damascus, after weeks of fierce battles against insurgents. Otaybeh is important because it opens the way to Eastern Ghouta.

Elsewhere, rebels battled regime troops inside the Minnigh military airport in the north of the country for the first time on Wednesday.

Wednesday's violence comes a day after at least 123 people were killed in violence across Syria, said the Observatory. Among them were 61 civilians, 47 rebels and 15 soldiers.