Iraq has accused ISIS of blowing up the historic Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul. Though ISIS has blamed the explosion on the US-led coalition, a video of the incident shows that the mosque was destroyed by planted explosive charges and not via an air strike. The Iraqi Prime Minister: The bombing was a “formal declaration of their defeat.”
Watch: Footage from the explosion of the al-Nuri Mosque
ISIS has reportedly blown up the historic al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, Iraq, where the organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announced the establishment of the new Islamic Caliphate three years ago. ISIS has denied the accusations that it was responsible for the explosion and placed the blame on the US-led coalition fighting in the area.
Video footage from the moment of the explosion indicates that the mosque was destroyed by planted explosives and not by aerial damage. Iraq is therefore insisting that ISIS was responsible for leveling the mosque. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that ISIS’ “bombing of the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri Mosque is a formal declaration of their defeat.”
The Great Mosque of al-Nuri, built during the Abbasid Caliphate, is one of Islam’s most venerated sites and is famous for its leaning al-Hadba or “hunchback” minaret. Since al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself the leader of the so-called new Islamic Caliphate from the pulpit in the al-Nuri Mosque in 2014, the site has become a symbol of ISIS’ empowerment. In recent months, most of the city of Mosul has been liberated from ISIS by Iraqi forces and militias.