Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 16 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Simon Stock
home iconNews
line break icon

ISIS, in possible admission of defeat, destroys historic mosque in Mosul


Faisal Jeber CC | U.S. CENTCOM Government Work

Zelda Caldwell - published on 06/27/17 - updated on 06/27/17

Islamic State leader had announced "caliphate" from this site and flown black flag from its minaret since 2014

As Iraqi army forces prepare to take back their capital city of Mosul from the Islamic State, the extremist group has reportedly destroyed a symbol of its former dominance in Iraq, the historic Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its iconic leaning minaret.

The 12th century-mosque, known for its distinctive leaning “hunchback” minaret, was reduced to rubble on June 21, during the Battle of Mosul, as the Iraqi army was on the verge of liberating Mosul from ISIS.

The Islamic State news agency alleged that United States-led airstrikes destroyed the mosque, but the Iraqi army countered that the explosion was actually caused by ISIS itself. A video (below), presented by Iraqi army officials, appears to show the mosque exploding from within, rather than from above, would seem to confirm that ISIS was responsible.

The mosque was of great symbolic importance to ISIS, as it is the cite where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the group a “caliphate” on July 4, 2014. ISIS’ black flag had been flying on the minaret itself since that date.

Russian officials claim to have killed al-Baghdadi, according to news reports, but his these reports are unconfirmed.

Read more:
The Iraqi offensive to free Mosul from ISIS is on its final stage

The Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has said that ISIS’ destruction of the mosque amounts to an admission of defeat, and experts suggest that it was destroyed because of its symbolic importance to the extremist group, according to a report in the Guardian.

“They blew it up because they did not want the place they announced the caliphate from to be the place where the Iraqi military announces its victory over them,” said Hisham al-Hashimi, an author on extremist groups and a former government adviser.

Read more:
12 Treasures of Antiquity Destroyed in the Middle East Since 2001

IraqIslamist Militants
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
Philip Kosloski
Why Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as an apostle
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.