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IS Blows Up Mosul Mosque Where It Declared 'Caliphate — Iraqi Military

22 June 2017

The word was spread in a statement from the Iraqi military.

The Iraqis forces took hold of the eastern part of Mosul in January, but the western area, with its winding roads and small buildings, has proved more hard to rest back.

In a statement on its Amaq website, ISIL blamed U.S. aircraft for destroying the mosque.

United States officials told CNN the ISIS claim was "1,000% false". A USA official said they did not conduct any planned or deliberate strikes in the area.

US -backed Iraqi troops pushed into the last Islamic State stronghold in the country's second largest city of Mosul on Sunday, an Iraqi commander said, formally launching the final major battle of an eight-month campaign.

By the time Moroccan scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta visited the mosque in the 14th century, the minaret had already acquired its distinctive lean and nickname.

"Blowing up the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri mosque amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat", Iraqi Prime Minister said in a brief comment on his website.

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His military commanders said militants blew the mosque up after troops closed in.

Iraqi forces launched a push into Mosul's Old City earlier this week where the last ISIS fighters are holed up with an estimated 100,000 civilians according to the United Nations.

Iraqi security forces released this on Wednesday night showing the remnants of the Al-Nuri Mosque.

Still, the USA military cautioned Wednesday that the fight for Mosul continues despite the destruction of the mosque.

"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", Martin said in a statement.

A month after ISIS forces overran Mosul in June 2014, Baghdadi, gave a Friday sermon from the pulpit inside the mosque - his first public appearance in many years.

This aerial view taken on June 21, 2017 and provided by Iraq's Joint Operation Command reportedly shows destruction inside Mosul's Nuri mosque compound. Its minaret was known as Al-Hadba, or "the hunchback" because it listed to one side like the Tower of Pisa in Italy.

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Gen. Joseph Martin, commander of the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said in a statement.

It adds to a long list of Iraqi heritage sites and monuments the jihadist organisation has destroyed in Iraq and Syria since Baghdadi created his "caliphate" straddling both countries, nearly exactly three years ago.

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"Many children fleeing the violence are severely distressed and need psychological care", he added, calling on all parties involved in the conflict to provide safe passage for civilians.

Amaq, the IS news agency, blamed the destruction on a U.S. airstrike.

"When the minaret is destroyed, it will be the final blow to Mosul's heritage because all the other landmarks are gone", Hamed said.

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