ISLAMIC STATE BLOWS UP HISTORIC MOSUL MOSQUE
The Islamic State leveled the famed al-Nuri mosque and its leaning minaret in Mosul, just as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces were closing in on the historic site Wednesday, the U.S. military said.
Iraqi forces, backed by coalition airstrikes and other support, are in the final stages of an offensive to clear the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, from the city after about eight months of intensive combat.
“As our Iraqi Security Force partners closed in on the al-Nuri mosque, ISIS destroyed one of Mosul and Iraq’s great treasures,” Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, said in a statement.
ISIS claimed the mosque was destroyed by a coalition airstrike, but the U.S. military dismissed that, saying it did not conduct strikes in that area at that time.