by WorldTribune Staff, June 30, 2017
Three years to the day that Islamic State (ISIS) announced its “caliphate,” Iraq declared that the “fake” caliphate was coming to an end.
Iraqi forces on June 29 took control of Mosul’s al-Nuri mosque and Al-Hadba (minaret), Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said in a statement quoted by AFP.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi hailed the recapture of the mosque as a sign of ISIS’s impending defeat.
“We are seeing the end of the fake Daesh state,” Abadi tweeted.
The U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition also said on June 29 that the end of the war against ISIS was near.
“I can’t put a timeline on that for them, but I see it closer to days than a week or weeks,” coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said, referring to an announcement of Mosul’s recapture.
The June 29 statement came one week after ISIS blew up the Grand al-Nuri mosque and its iconic leaning minaret, al-Hadba, in what Abadi also said was a sign of ISIS’s defeat.
Dillon praised the “grit and determination” pf the Iraqi forces and said coalition support would help bring “an imminent liberation.”
Meanwhile, the fate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi remains unknown. Israel’s Arutz Sheva reported there have been several reports in recent months suggesting that he had been injured or even killed, including a claim by Russia earlier this month. None of those reports have been confirmed, however.