Iraq declares end of IS after capture of Mosul’s historical mosque

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DUSHANBE, 30.06.2017. /NIAT Khovar/. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday that the capture of historical al-Nuri mosque in the old city of Mosul marks the end of the self-styled Islamic State (IS, banned in Tajikistan) in Iraq, Xinhua news agency.

The blowing up of al-Nuri mosque and its al-Hadbaa minaret by Daesh (IS group) and bringing them (mosque and minaret) back to the homeland today is a declaration of the end of the illegitimate Daesh state, � Abadi said in a statement issued by his office. We will continue to chase Daesh members by killing and capturing them until the last one of them in Iraq, � said Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces.

Abadi's comments came during his visit to the headquarters of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) in Mosul, where he met with the military commanders and discussed with them the developments of the battles to liberate the western side of Mosul.

Earlier in the day, a JOC statement said the Iraqi forces recaptured the area of al-Nuri mosque and its minaret as well as an adjacent neighborhood in the central part of the old city.

The Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces drove out the extremist IS militants from al-Nuri mosque and its leaning al-Hadbaa minaret, in addition to the adjacent Sarijkhanah neighborhood in the heart of Mosul's old city center, � said Abdul-Amir Yarallah of the JOC.

On June 21, the IS bombed al-Nuri mosque, as Iraqi forces were pushing closer to the mosque and the surrounding area, amid fierce house-to-house battles in some nearby alleys.

The mosque was built in 1172 AD along with its famous leaning minaret, which gave the city its nickname al-Hadbaa or the hunchback.

A JOC statement said on Tuesday evening that the troops had liberated some 50 percent of the old city in the western side of Mosul.

Mosul, 400 km north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan