ISIS destroys historic Mosul mosque, Al-Nuri
The Islamic State group has destroyed the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul and the iconic leaning minaret when fighters detonated explosives inside the structures late on Wednesday night, according to Iraq’s Ministry of Defence. The mosque - also known as Mosul’s Great Mosque - is where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in 2014 shortly after the city was overrun by the militants and was seen as a key symbolic prize in the fight for Iraq’s second largest city. Iraqi forces launched a push into Mosul’s Old City earlier this week where the last IS fighters are holed up with an estimated 100-thousand civilians according to the United Nations. The fight to retake Mosul was launched more than eight months ago and has displaced more than 850-thousand people.