Iraq: Islamic State blows up iconic al-Nuri mosque of Mosul

Jun 22, 2017 12:11 IST

al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul blown up =The Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, Iraq was blown up by a group of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on 21 June 2017.  They also destroyed its famous leaning minaret, also known as al-Hadba.

The medieval mosque, also known as Mosul's Great Mosque, is the place from where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014 declared an Islamic caliphate spanning parts of Iraq and Syria. The mosque's historic minaret stood for more than 800 years.

Iraq's military said in a statement that its forces were within 50 meters of the mosque when IS outfit committed another historical crime by blowing up the building.

However, IS claimed that US aircraft destroyed the mosque.

US Pentagon said that the responsibility of this devastation is laid firmly at the doorstep of IS. US General Joseph Martin said, this is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organization must be annihilated.

The destruction of the mosque comes on the fourth day of an Iraqi offensive on Mosul's Old City, backed by U.S.-led coalition forces.

Great Mosque of al-Nuri (Mosul)

• The Great Mosque of al-Nuri was a historic mosque in Mosul, Iraq and was famous for its leaning minaret which gave the city its nickname "the hunchback" (al-?adba').

• Traditions suggest that the mosque was built in 1172-73 by Nur ad-Din Zangi, shortly before his death. In addition, the chronicle of Ibn al-Athir, after Nur ad-Din who took control of Mosul had ordered his nephew Fakhr al-Din to build the mosque.

• In 1511, this mosque was extensively renovated by the Safavid Empire.

• According to local tradition (which resolutely ignores chronology), the minaret gained its tilt after the Prophet Muhammad passed overhead while ascending to heaven.

• The minaret bowed itself in reverence but could only regain its balance after its top joint had been kinked in the opposite direction.

• According to local Christian tradition, however, the mosque's tilt was due to its bowing towards the tomb of the Virgin Mary, reputedly located near Arbil.

Fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

An offensive against ISIS was launched on 17 October 2016 by a US-led coalition of several groups. The participants of the coalition include thousands of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen, and the group is being assisted by US-led coalition warplanes and military advisers.

In January 2017, the Iraqi government announced the full "liberation" of eastern Mosul. But the west of the city has presented a more difficult challenge, with its narrow, winding streets.

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