This photo dated May 24, 2017 shows the leaning Al-Hadba Minaret and Al-Nuri Mosque in western Mosul. Photo: AFP
US-led Coalition denies striking al-Nuri Mosque, confirms its destruction
"We can confirm the al-Nuri mosque was destroyed," the Washington Post reported the US-led international coalition as saying. "It was not as a result of coalition strikes. We did not strike in that area."
ISIS-affiliated media had claimed the mosque's destruction was the result of a coalition air strike.
US Central Command elaborated on the monumental devastation.
"As our Iraqi Security Force partners closed in on the al-Nuri mosque, ISIS destroyed one of Mosul and Iraq's great treasures," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, Commanding General of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve.
"This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organization must be annihilated," said Martin. "The responsibility of this devastation is laid firmly at the doorstep of ISIS, and we continue to support our Iraqi partners as they bring these terrorists to justice. However, the battle for the liberation of Mosul is not yet complete, and we remain focused on supporting the ISF with that objective in mind."
ISIS blew up mosque as Iraq's elite forces approached
"As a result of advances the Iraqi Counter-Terror Forces (ICTS) on the al-Faruq area [in the Old Mosul district] and as our forces closed in on the Hadba Minaret and the al-Nuri mosque as close as 50 meters, ISIS blew up both," Iraqi army Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul, the spokesperson of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, told Rudaw TV by phone.
He added they had knowledge that "ISIS had booby trapped the al-Hadba Minaret and the al-Nuri Mosque and had stationed many militants nearby the two places."
Rasoul described blowing up the two historical Mosul sites "as blowing up the history" and said the group "added another crime against humanity" and world heritage.
He also described the act as a "clear gesture that ISIS has lost its morale by blowing the site where their leader had declared the caliphate and gave its first sermon from there."
Rasoul also said the group is on the brink of an ultimate collapse and "we soon control all of the Old Mosul district."
He concluded their operations will continue and the morale of their soldiers is "very high" against ISIS militants.
ISIS blows up mosque in Mosul where it declared its caliphate
MOSUL, Iraq — ISIS militants have blown up Al-Nuri Mosque and Al-Hadba Minaret in western Mosul, the spokesperson of the Iraqi joint operation command Yahya Rasoul told Rudaw on Wednesday night.
It is located in Old Mosul. The site is where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself caliph of the so-called Islamic State on June 29, 2014.
After a long siege, the Iraqi Army on Sunday launched a three-pronged final offensive against ISIS’s last pocket in Mosul, the Old Mosul district in the western half of the war-torn city.
Iraqi security forces released this on Wednesday night showing the remnants of the Al-Nuri Mosque.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command announced that the army, Counter-Terror Forces (ICTS) and Iraqi Federal Police are taking part in the final battle to liberate the Old Mosul district.
The United Nations has estimated the district still contains about 100,000 civilians.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the military campaign for right bank on February 19, after declaring the left (eastern) portion of the city liberated on January 24.
On October 17, 2016,
Iraqi forces, and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitaries (PMUs) began the Mosul offensive
to retake Mosul and its surrounding areas from ISIS militants.
This Rudaw video shows the mosque and minaret still standing in mid-June.