Thursday, June 29, 2017

Iraqi Soldiers Captured ISIS Caliphate.

Iraqi forces captured on Thursday the wrecked historic mosque of Mosul in which Islamic State proclaimed its self-styled “caliphate” three years ago.

According to an Iraqi military statement, taking the Grand al-Nuri Mosque hands a symbolic victory to the Iraqi forces which have been battling for more than eight month to capture Mosul, the northern city that served as Islamic State’s de facto capital in Iraq.

The insurgents blew up the medieval mosque and its landmark leaning minaret on June 22, as US-backed Iraqi

forces started a push in its direction.

Their black flag had been floating on al-Hadba, the ”hunchback” minaret, since June 2014.

US and British-backed Iraqi forces have been pushing towards the mosque, having encircled jihadi fighters. The strategic fight has been going on for nine months.

An estimated 100,000 civilians are holed up in the Old City with the last remaining Isil troops in Mosul, the UN has stated, warning they could be used as human shields.

Iraqi government forces regained control of eastern Mosul in January, then launched an offensive a month later on the western side that includes the Old City.

The fall of Mosul would effectively signal the end of the Iraqi part of the "caliphate" that IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi declared in a speech from an historic mosque in the Old City back in 2014, covering parts of Iraq and Syria.

As Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service troops closed in on the mosque, Isil blew it up.

Iraqi officials had privately expressed the hope that the mosque could be captured in time for Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month.

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