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IS troops destroy Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul

IS troops destroy Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul

IS militants on Wednesday night destroyed the al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul along with the al-Hadba, a very famous leaning minaret. This took place when fighters detonated explosives within the interior of the structures causing immense damage in the process. The report was released by the Iraq defense minister on Wednesday night.
But, the Iraq prime minister believes that the development is an indication that the militants are losing the fight. In a tweet which was posted on Thursday night, the prime minister said that the step taken by the militants simply means that they are conceding defeat in the fight for the second largest city.
“The fact that Daesh have bombed leaning minaret and al-Nuri Mosque is a clear indication that they are admitting the loss in the fight for Mosul. It is a formal declaration of their loss,” said Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi Prime Minister.
The al-Nuri Mosque which is also referred to as Mosul’s Great Mosque is the place where the leader of the militants Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the caliphate in 2014. His speech of declaration came shortly after Mosul was overrun by the militants. The minaret which had been in existence for around 840 years prior to its destruction, appeared like the Leaning Tower of Pizza in Italy was destroyed on Wednesday.
But, IS militants have denied the reports by the Iraq prime minister. In a statement posted by the militants online in response to the Iraqi minister’s tweet, the militants blamed the US airstrike. According to the militants, both the mosque and the minaret were destroyed following a US led airstrike. This is in direct opposition to the minister’s statement and may suggest that the militants are still willing to fight for the city.
Meanwhile, the US led coalition forces have denied claims that the destruction of the mosque and the minaret was orchestrated by them. Speaking to reporters from the Associated Press, Col. Ryan Dillon of the US Army who is the spokesman for the coalition forces said that his team had nothing to do with the strike. He however indicated that the US coalition forces were able to confirm the destruction of the temple and the minaret using aerial surveillance.
“We did not conduct any air strike in the area at that particular time,” said the colonel as he spoke to reporters.
In July 2014, IS militants had attempted to destroy the minaret. According to them, the structure was not in harmony with their fundamentalist understanding of Islam. But, its destruction was not orchestrated as residents surrounded the mosque in numbers preventing the militants from destroying the minaret.
Since the time it took over Mosul, IS has been responsible for the utter destruction of multiple historical and archeological sites in Mosul saying that they promoted idolatry.
“Such acts are crimes against the residents of Mosul and the entire Iraq, and accounts for why the brutal organization must be removed from existence,” said Joseph Martin, who is the major General of the US led coalition forces.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-21/urgent-is-destroys-iconic-al-nuri-mosque-in-mosul

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