Islamic State militants have reportedly blown up the Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul and its leaning minaret on Wednesday an Iraqi military statement said.
An Iraqi army spokesperson said that the militants are on the verge of defeat and this is why they blew up the Mosque.
Three years ago, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a self-styled "caliphate" spanning parts of Syria and Iraq.
and it was from this mosque that he made that declaration.
[IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a rare appearance at the Mosque]
Iraqi Prime Minister said in a brief comment on his website, ''Blowing up the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri mosque amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat,''.
A video on social media showed the minaret collapsing vertically as a woman voice could be heard lamenting in the background, "The minaret, the minaret, the minaret."Iraqi military said the time of the explosion at about 9:35 p.m.
[Still image taken from video shows the destroyed Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul. Iraqi Military Handout/via Reuters]
U.S. Major General Martin said, "This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organization must be annihilated".