“Defeated” IS blows up iconic al-Nuri mosque in Mosul city

Jun 22, 2017, 6:29 AM EDT
Mosul's Al-Nuri Mosque as seen from a sniper hole.
(Source: Quentin Bruno/flickr)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that the destruction of the Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul by Islamic State militants is an “official declaration” that the jihadist outfit has conceded defeat against coalition forces.

The iconic mosque is the same site where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a self-styled “caliphate” and delivered sermons three years ago, writes Reuters.

IS accused the American fighter jets of bombarding the 800-year-old mosque and its leaning minarets, an allegation that was swiftly dismissed by U.S. Army Major General Joseph Martin, notes the BBC.

The development came as Iraqi troops advanced to within 50 meters of the site, battling huge resistance from IS militants that are hiding in the area, reports The Guardian