Skip to main content

Battle for Mosul: Destruction of al-Nuri mosque 'shows IS defeated'

The Iraqi military provided this image showing the destruction at the mosque compound
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the destruction of an ancient mosque in the city of Mosul is "an official declaration of defeat" by so-called Islamic State (IS).

Iraqi forces say IS blew up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its famous leaning minaret as jihadists battled to stop advancing pro-government troops.

IS said American aircraft had destroyed the complex, a claim denied by the US.

Aerial photographs show the complex largely destroyed.

The mosque, which was more than 800 years old, was where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" in 2014.

Its destruction has brought widespread condemnation.

A senior US commander in Iraq said IS had destroyed "one of Mosul and Iraq's great treasures".

"This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organisation must be annihilated," Maj Gen Joseph Martin said.

The Great Mosque of al-Nuri, pictured in 2014, was famous for its leaning minaret
The Iraqi commander in charge of the offensive to retake Mosul said troops were within 50m (160ft) of the mosque when IS "committed another historical crime".

Thousands of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen, supported by US-led coalition warplanes and military advisers, are involved in the battle to retake the key city, which was launched on 17 October last year. 

The government announced the full "liberation" of eastern Mosul in January but the west of the city has presented a more difficult challenge, with its narrow, winding streets.

The al-Nuri mosque dated back to 1172 and was named after a noble who fought against the early crusaders.

The leaning minaret was nicknamed "the hunchback".

A month after IS forces overran Mosul in June 2014, Baghdadi gave a Friday sermon from the pulpit inside the mosque and proclaimed a caliphate - a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia, by God's deputy on Earth, or caliph.

It was his first public appearance in many years.

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" in the mosque
On Sunday, commanders announced the start of the "final chapter" of the offensive, with Iraq's counter-terrorism service, army and federal police attacking the Old City from all directions.

The army said it believed there were no more than 300 militants left in Mosul, compared with almost 6,000 at the start of the offensive in October.

Earlier this week aircraft dropped leaflets urging civilians to avoid open spaces and to take any opportunity to escape.

The UN has warned that IS may be holding more than 100,000 people in Mosul as human shields.


BBC

Comments

TRENDING

Must Read : Radio & TV Host Anita Erskine Pens Down A Letter To Rashida Black Beauty

We woke up to this masterpiece online, a LETTER of Starr FM’s award-winning media queen and Women’s advocate, Anita Erskine has written a letter to Rashida Black Beauty .. Just like a carousel, the maiden is still in her spinning stage and like mother eagle, Anita sees the future that Rashida someday can become a fabric of a building, thus, she wants her to, “…come and let’s talk – one on one.”

Serena Williams explains why she chose to marry a White man

A lot of Black people have criticized tennis champion Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams for marrying and dating White men, instead of sticking with Black brothers. The mother-of-one has now explained her reason for marrying Alexis Ohanian.

Akufo-Addo's presidential kiss with wife Rebecca Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered the 2019 State of the Nation Address on Thursday, February 21 in Parliament.

Photos and Videos from Kennedy Osei and Tracy’s royal wedding

It was all glitz, glamour and fancy cars at Trassaco Estate as the General Manager of Despite Media and son of Ghanaian business mogul, Osei Kwame Despite, Kennedy Osei traditionally marries his girlfriend Tracy.

2017 WomanRising 100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women Announced

WomanRising, a flagship network of The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) has announced its annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Ghana (100 MIWG) for 2017.