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End of IS caliphate declared: Iraqi forces enter destroyed Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul

End of IS caliphate declared: Iraqi forces enter destroyed Great Mosque of al-Nuri in MosulThe development means that government troops are now in the heart of the Old City – Isis’s last redoubt in Mosul – and probably within a fortnight of recapturing its entirety.

This is reported by The Guardian.

The Iraqi prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi, proclaimed the advance towards the mosque as “the end of the Isis state”. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself the leader of Islamic State from there three years ago.

The terror group had by then overrun much of northern Iraq and Syria, dismembering state control in both countries and establishing an ultraconservative brand of Islamic law over the lands and people that it conquered.

Isis is under pressure in both countries – in the Syrian city of Raqqa, US-backed Kurdish forces seeking to take it on Thursday claimed to have sealed off the last route out, intensifying a siege that has seen many of its leaders flee towards southern Syria.

The fight for the terror group’s territory in Mosul has been grinding and savage, with Iraqi troops reporting house-to-house fighting with a battle-hardened enemy that refuses to surrender.

Isis last week toppled the al-Hadba minaret adjoining the mosque, causing extensive damage to the surrounding compound.
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