ISIL destroy Iraq’s iconic Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul

World Today

This image provided by U.S. CENTCOM shows al-Nuri mosque destroyed by the Islamic State group, in Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. The Islamic State group destroyed the mosque and its iconic leaning minaret known as al-Hadba when fighters detonated explosives inside the structures Wednesday night, Iraq’s Ministry of Defense said. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tweeted early Thursday, June 22, 2017 that the destruction was an admission by the militants that they are losing the fight for Iraq’s second-largest city. (U.S. CENTCOM via AP)

One of Iraq’s most historic and symbolic mosques has been destroyed. Both Iraq and the U.S. said ISIL blew up the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul. Iraq’s Prime Minister said the destruction of the iconic mosque is ISIL’s ‘declaration of defeat.’

CGTN’s Tony Cheng reports from the frontlines in Iraq.

For more than 800 years, the al-Nuri mosque has sat above the city of Mosul, along with its famous leaning al-Hadba minaret, nicknamed “The hunchback.”

It was inside the al-Nuri mosque that the leader of ISIL, Abu Bakir al-Baghdadi, made his most celebrated appearance in 2014.

But on Wednesday evening his fighters blew it up. Federal police troops have been trying to fly drones over the area to assess the damage. Now the distinctive landmark is almost impossible to spot.

As the security forces continue to press into Mosul’s Old City, the loss of this celebrated monument is a blow. It is also a reminder that they face an opponent who has no interest in the preservation of life or history.

“The enemy destroyed this historic place because they are savages,” Brigadier Bassim Ahmed Lenayt Allah, of the Iraqi military said. “They’re inhumane; they have no humanity. That is the real Islamic State.”

Inside ISIL territory the situation is desperate.

“I’m tired, so tired,” said one resident living in ISIL territory in Iraq. “Today my daughter finished all the milk we have, and I have no money to buy any more.”