ISIS has blown up the famous Grand al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, Iraq. It was there that ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in 2014 shortly after the terrorist group overran Mosul.
"The destruction of the Grand al-Nuri Mosque is further evidence of the depravity and the desperation of ISIS and their so-called caliphate, which is rapidly evaporating," said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.
She added, "We strongly condemn this crime against the people of Mosul, which only further proves that ISIS has no respect for Iraq’s identity, culture, or its religions. For nearly 800 years, the al-Nuri Mosque, with its distinct leaning minaret, al-Hadba, stood as a testament to the faith and unity of Mosul’s residents. ISIS used the historic mosque, an edifice of a great religion, to publicly justify its criminal campaign of genocide, mass rape, institutionalized slavery, child murder, and aggressive territorial conquest."
The destruction of the mosque and minaret are not only crimes against the people of Mosul in Iraq, but the world, said Ms. Nauert. "The world has, yet again, lost an important part of our shared heritage at the hands of ISIS."
The Iraqi Security Forces, with the support of the coalition, have now liberated 70 percent of the territory that ISIS once controlled and has now freed 2.7 million Iraqis from ISIS’s brutal rule. The U.S. and its coalition partners are accelerating the global campaign against ISIS, taking ISIS leaders off the battlefield, and depriving the group of its resources.
The United States remains committed to helping Iraq drive ISIS from every inch of the Iraqi soil and ensure that the terror group cannot return. The United States and the international community support the government of Iraq’s efforts to help communities suffering from the effects of the brutal occupation of ISIS.
The United States stands with the people and government of Iraq as they work to build a future that is filled with peace and prosperity for all Iraqis.