The Islamic State blew up the famous al-Nouri mosque in Mosul.
The mosque where its leader Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi gave his sermon announcing the Caliphate has been blown to smithereens. As the Iraqi army came within a few dozens meters close to the sacred lieu, the Jihadists detonated explosives, which ruined the building completely.
Most people would think that even the Islamic State wouldn’t hurt (or would even try to preserve) one of the most historic Salafi and Sunni sites, but that wasn’t the case.
A video, which surfaced on twitter, shows that it was a planned explosion without a doubt. Even ISIS is now accusing the US Air Force of shelling the place.
Did ISIS want to prevent the enemy from parading in this symbolic place? Did they decide to burn all Mosul and Raqqa before dying?
Thus, the Iraqi army is inching ever closer to the last quarter held by the IS, the Old district of Mosul, where approximately 100.000 civilians are still trapped. All of them are Sunnis, who most likely supported the Islamic State’s arrival in 2013.
Recently, Western propaganda has blamed the Islamic State for using them as human shields. But on the ground, it appears that numerous Sunni civilians are IS supporters and fearful of the repercussion not only from the Shiite militias, but also from the Iraqi army itself, likewise Shiite since 2003.
The battle for the Old district will be the most difficult for the government allied forces. The quarter is encircled, and the remaining IS forces have fled there. Artillery and airstrikes from the coalition will likely decimate whatever remains under the control of the IS. It will take many weeks until the battle for Mosul is over.
The main question is now, how many civilians will disappear in the process?