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Iraqi forces recapture historic Mosul mosque

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, June 29, IRNA -- Iraqi forces captured on Thursday the wrecked historic mosque of Mosul in which Daesh terrorist group proclaimed its self-styled 'caliphate' three years ago, an Iraqi military statement said.

Taking the Grand al-Nuri Mosque gives a symbolic victory to the Iraqi forces who have been battling for more than eight months to capture Mosul, the northern city that served as Daesh's de-facto capital in Iraq.

According to media reports, the mosque is hugely symbolic – from its pulpit, Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in July 2014 declared a self-styled 'caliphate,' encompassing territories held by Daesh in Syria and Iraq, which was his only known public appearance.

Iraqi and US-led coalition officials say the terrorists blew up the medieval mosque and its landmark leaning minaret a week ago, as US-backed Iraqi forces started a push in its direction, while the militant group says a US airstrike was to blame.

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

Special forces Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridi says his troops won't enter the destroyed al-Nuri Mosque complex since militants have likely rigged it with explosives, but will work to secure the area.

Thursday's development comes as Iraqi forces are pushing through the last Daesh-held neighborhood in Mosul, the so-called Old City, to the west of the Tigris River, Dailysabah wrote.

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