Iraq, in Mosul, Isis destroys al-Nuri mosque, symbol of city

ISIS destroyed the al-Nuri mosque: it was located in Mosul and was one of the symbols of the city and Iraq.

The Great Mosque of al-Nuri, a symbol of the city of Mosul in Iraq, was destroyed byIsis yesterday. “Our forces were advancing toward their objectives in the old city,” Iraqi forces commander in charge of operations in Mosul, Abdulamir Yarallah, told al-Jazeera, “and when they got to a distance of about 50 meters from the mosque, Daesh committed another crime against the historical heritage by blowing up the mosque.” ISIS, in turn, blames the incident on U.S. forces, which they say bombed the area, but U.S. military spokesman Colonel John Dorrian, speaking to Reuters microphones, denied the report spread by circles close to the jihadists.

The Great Mosque of al-Nuri, with which we have become familiar because it is the one in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave the famous speech in June 2014 proclaiming the founding of the caliphate, was a building of ancient origins: in fact, the construction dates back to the 12th century (it was built between 1172 and 1173), although it was extensively renovated in the 16th century. The mosque was famous for its 45-meter-high leaning minaret, nicknamed al-Hadba (“the hunchback”): legend has it that it bent the moment the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, brushing against the monument. Another legend, spread by local Christians, has it instead that the minaret slopes toward the tomb of Our Lady. The al-Nuri minaret was so popular that it earned a place on Iraq’s 10 dinar bill.

For Guardian analysts, the destruction of the al-Nuri mosque amounts to a declaration of defeat by ISIS. The operation would be motivated by the fact that ISIS did not want Iraqi forces to announce their victory at the site of the caliphate proclamation. The battle to liberate Mosul meanwhile continues, and the loss of the city by ISIS could likely mean its end in Iraqi territory.

Main sources: al-Jazeera - Guardian

Image: the “al-Hadba” minaret of al-Nuri Mosque Credit.

Iraq, in Mosul, Isis destroys al-Nuri mosque, symbol of city
Iraq, in Mosul, Isis destroys al-Nuri mosque, symbol of city

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