CAIRO (Sputnik) — Militants of Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) have blown up the main mosque of the city of Mosul, the Iraqi army said in a statement Wednesday.
"IS [Daesh] militants committed another historical crime — they blew up the al-Nuri mosque and its minaret," the statement said.
Earlier in the day, an Iraqi military source told Sputnik that Iraq’s forces managed to entrench in a position roughly 100 meters (328 feet) away from the Great Mosque of al-Nuri after pushing forward toward the location.
The northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the Daesh's key Iraqi stronghold, has been controlled by the terrorists since mid-2014. The Iraqi troops, backed by the US-led international coalition, launched an operation to recapture Mosul in October 2016, with the eastern part of the city being liberated in January and the western remaining under the control of jihadists. In February, the Iraqi forces began the operation aimed at liberating western Mosul from Daesh.