Daesh blows up Mosul mosque where Baghdadi announced ‘caliphate’: commander

Daesh blows up Mosul mosque where Baghdadi announced ‘caliphate’: commander
A flag of Daesh militants is seen on top of Mosul’s Al-Hadba minaret at the Grand Mosque, where Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared his caliphate back in 2014, during clashes between Iraqi forces and Daesh militants in Mosul, Iraq. Picture taken March 24, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 June 2017

Daesh blows up Mosul mosque where Baghdadi announced ‘caliphate’: commander

Daesh blows up Mosul mosque where Baghdadi announced ‘caliphate’: commander

BAGHDAD: Jihadists on Wednesday blew up Mosul’s iconic leaning minaret and the adjacent mosque where their leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” in his only public appearance in 2014, an Iraqi commander said.
The Daesh group swiftly issued a statement via its Amaq propaganda agency blaming a US strike.
“Our forces were advancing toward their targets deep in the Old City and when they got to within 50 meters (yards) of the Nuri mosque, Daesh committed another historical crime by blowing up the Nuri mosque and the Hadba” mosque, Staff Lt. Gen. Abdulamir Yarallah, the overall commander of the Mosul offensive, said in a statement.
The destruction of two of Mosul’s best-known landmarks comes on the fourth day of an Iraqi offensive backed by the US-led coalition on the Old City, where holdout jihadists are making a bloody last stand.
It adds to a long list of Iraqi heritage sites and monuments the jihadist organization has destroyed in Iraq and Syria since Baghdadi created his “caliphate” straddling both countries, almost exactly three years ago.