Thursday, June 22, 2017

IS blows up 'caliph's Mosul mosque'

Jun 23 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
IS blows up 'caliph's Mosul mosque'

Destruction Of Iconic 12th Century Minaret Admission Of Defeat By Jihadis: Iraq PM

Islamic State militants blew up the Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul and its famous leaning minaret, Iraq's military said in a statement, as Iraqi forces seeking to expel the group from the city closed in on the site.It was from this medieval mosque three years ago that IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a self-styled “caliphate“ spanning parts of Syria and Iraq. “Blowing up the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri mosque amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat,“ Iraqi PM said in a brief comment on his website on Thiursday .
The Iraqis called the 12th century 150-foot leaning minaret Al-Hadba, or “the hunchback“. Baghdadi's black flag had flown over it since June 2014. IS's Amaq news agency accused American aircraft of destroying the mosque, a claim swiftly deni ed by the US-led coalition fighting the militant group.
“We did not strike in that area,“ coalition spokesman US Air Force Colonel John Dorrian said. “The responsibility of this devastation is laid firmly at the doorstep of IS,“ US army Major General Joseph Martin, commander of the coalition's ground component, said in a statement.
The media office for Iraq's military distributed a picture taken from the air that appeared to show the mosque and minaret largely flattened and reduced to rubble among the small houses of the Old City , the historic district where the militants are under siege. A video seen on social media showed the minaret collapsing vertically in a belch of sand and dust, as a woman lamented in the background, “The minaret, the minaret, the minaret“.

The mosque was destroyed on Wednesday as Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service units, which have been battling their way through the Old City , got within 50 metres of it.

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