ISIS has blown up the 800-year-old al-Nuri in Mosul, Iraq (left), where spiritual leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (top right) announced the terror group’s so called caliphate in
2014, an Iraqi officer said. Abdul-Ghani al-Assadi, commander of the Iraqi army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, said his troops were just 50m from the mosque when booby-
trap explosives were detonated, reducing it to rubble. Iraqi authorities have branded the mosque’s destruction an ‘admission of defeat’ by ISIS as coalition forces are on the brink
of taking back Mosul, the terrorists’ last stronghold in Iraq, bringing to an end their so-called caliphate.
𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐮𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒 𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐰 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐛𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠
𝐀𝐧 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐪𝐢 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐚𝐥-𝐍𝐮𝐫𝐢 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐮𝐥 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐥-𝐁𝐚𝐠𝐡𝐝𝐚𝐝𝐢 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐨-𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐞
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐪𝐢 𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐮𝐥’𝐬 𝐎𝐥𝐝 𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧 𝟓𝟎𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐰 𝐢𝐭 𝐮𝐩
‘𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞,’ 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐪𝐢 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲
𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐀𝐛𝐮 𝐁𝐚𝐤𝐫 𝐚𝐥-𝐁𝐚𝐠𝐡𝐝𝐚𝐝𝐢 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟒
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬’ 𝐟𝐥𝐚𝐠 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐟𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐮𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫
𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 where it announced its own so called 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟒, an Iraqi officer has said.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐫’𝐬 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩’𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐀𝐛𝐮 𝐁𝐚𝐤𝐫 𝐚𝐥-𝐁𝐚𝐠𝐡𝐝𝐚𝐝𝐢 made his only public appearance on the balcony of 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐥-𝐍𝐮𝐫𝐢 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 in Mosul that year.
𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐪’𝐬 𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭 𝐎𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 released a satellite image showing the mosque lying in rubble.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 is said to have blown it up to cover its escape as Iraqi soldiers advanced on 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐎𝐥𝐝 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲, ISIS’s last stronghold in Mosul.
‘Our forces were advancing toward their targets deep in the Old City,’ Staff 𝐋𝐢𝐞𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐀𝐛𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐫 𝐘𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐡 said today.
He added: ‘When they got to within 50m of the al-Nuri mosque, 𝐃𝐚𝐞𝐬𝐡 (𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒) 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐮𝐫𝐢 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐝𝐛𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞.’
The mosque, whose minaret has leaned like 𝐈𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐲’𝐬 𝐓𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐢𝐬𝐚 for more than 840 years, seen as a symbolic prize in the fight for Iraq’s second largest city.
c has been flying from one of its minarets since the militants captured Mosul, as well as swathes of Iraq and Syria, in 2014.
The militants sealed off all roads leading to the place of worship last month but today, 𝐔𝐒-𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐪𝐢 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐬 moved in on the mosque following an eight-month-long campaign to recapture Mosul, ISIS’s de-facto capital in Iraq.
‘The Daesh (ISIS) terror gangs committed another historical crime by blowing up the al-Nuri mosque and its historical al-Hadba minaret,’ an Iraqi military statement said today.
The destruction of two of Mosul’s best-known landmarks – which ISIS claimed were obliterated by an airstrike – comes on the fourth day of a US-backed Iraqi offensive on the Old City.
The destruction adds to a long list of Iraqi heritage sites and monuments the jihadist organisation has 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐲𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐪 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐲𝐫𝐢𝐚.