Baghdad (GPA) – Yesterday, in an obvious act of desperation, the Islamic State demolished the historic Great Mosque of al-Nuri in the old city of Mosul.
The terror group carried out the controlled implosion of the medieval Mosque as Iraqi forces came within 165 feet of it’s location. The mosque is where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was last seen on video proclaiming the founding of the “caliphate” across Iraq and Syria.
This move by the “Islamic” State is clearly a final act to avoid embarrassment since they only control a little over one square mile of Mosul. This sentiment was voiced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who tweeted shortly afterwards that “Daesh’s bombing of the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri Mosque is a formal declaration of their defeat.”
IS of course attempted to save face by blaming the destruction of the mosque on US and Iraqi forces, claiming through their news agency that it had been destroyed in a bombing run. When CNN asked US officials about this claim they said it was obviously “1,000% false.”
A statement was issued to the Associated Press by US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon following the mosque’s destruction that the coalition “did not conduct strikes in that area at that time.” There is also video evidence showing that this is a complete fabrication.
— H. Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) June 21, 2017
This latest anti-Islamic action by IS shows that they’re not only barbaric but clearly desperate as well. The retaking of the mosque would’ve been a complete embarrassment to the terror group since it was a central prop in their attempts to look like a legitimate restoration of the past Islamic caliphate.
The operations in Mosul, as well as those on the Syrian side of the border in Raqqa, signal the end of IS control over any significant territory or major urban centers. Soon there will be nowhere left for the takfiris to operate besides the desert badlands on the border of the two countries.
What happens after the threat from IS is eliminated is another question. Between the Iraqi and Syrian militaries, US forces, as well as Kurdish and Shia militias all over the region, it’s unclear who may end up fighting who once the ‘caliphate’ officially falls.
Also published on Medium.