Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced an end to ISIL’s “state of falsehood” following the recapture of the historical Grand al-Nuri Mosque at the heart of the city of Mosul.
“The return of al-Nuri Mosque and al-Hadba minaret to the fold of the nation marks the end of the Daesh (ISIL) state of falsehood,” Abadi said in a statement on Thursday.
Iraqi forces, he said, would continue to hunt ISIL elements “to kill them and detain them, down to the last one.”
The Iraqi army recaptured the venue of the iconic mosque on Thursday, with the country’s state TV implying the liberation of the city, which has been under the control of the terrorist group since 2014.
“Their fictitious state has fallen,” an Iraqi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told state TV.
Earlier, the Iraqi military announced the news as it continues to gain more advances in Mosul’s Old City.
Shortly after the announcement, the Iraqi state television reported the fall of the “mythical state,” in reference to ISIL’s so-called caliphate.
The TV said the recapture of the mosque means Mosul, as the terror group’s command center, has been liberated, while Iraqi forces are in the middle of a mop-up operation to cleanse the city of remaining ISIL elements.
The extremists late on June 21 blew up the Grand al-Nuri Mosque and its Hadba (Hunchback) minaret.