In Mosul, Iraqi forces take landmark mosque blown up by Islamic State

The mosque is symbolic — from its pulpit, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in July 2014 declared a self-styled "caliphate'' on IS-held territories in Syria and Iraq. Iraqi forces are pushing through the last IS-held neighborhood in Mosul, the so-called Old City, to the west of the Tigris River.

By: AP | Mosul | Published:June 29, 2017 3:50 pm
Mosul, Islamic State, al-Nuri Mosque, Iraq forces retake al-Nuri Mosque Al-Hadba minaret at the Grand Mosque is seen through a building window in the old city of Mosul, Iraq June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

An Iraqi commander on Thursday said his forces have taken Mosul’s landmark al-Nuri Mosque compound that was destroyed by the Islamic State group last week. The mosque is symbolic — from its pulpit, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in July 2014 declared a self-styled “caliphate” on IS-held territories in Syria and Iraq.

Lt. General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi said special forces entered the compound and took control of the surrounding streets on Thursday afternoon, following a dawn push into the area.

Earlier, special forces Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridi warned the site will need to be cleared by engineering teams as IS fighters likely rigged it with explosives.

Iraqi forces are pushing through the last IS-held neighborhood in Mosul, the so-called Old City, to the west of the Tigris River.

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