As reported by Reuters news agency, Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the ruined mosque at the heart of Islamic State’s de facto capital, Mosul. After eight months of urban warfare, Iraqi authorities expect the long battle for Mosul to end in coming days as remaining Islamic State fighters are bottled up in just a handful of neighborhoods of the Old City. The seizure of the nearly 850-year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque — from where the Islamic State proclaimed the caliphate nearly three years ago to the day — is a huge symbolic victory.
Using the the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, “The return of al-Nuri Mosque and al-Hadba minaret to the fold of the nation marks the end of the Daesh state of falsehood.” The fall of Mosul would in effect mark the end of the Iraqi half of the Islamic State caliphate, although the group still controls territory west and south of the city, ruling over hundreds of thousands of people.
Its stronghold in Raqqa, Syria is also close to falling.
Reuters report found here.