Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the capture marks “the end of the Daesh state,” state TV reported.
Referencing IS, Iraqi military spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, told state TV: “Their fictitious state has fallen,” according to the TV report.
Iraq state TV declares "fall of mythical state" (a play on IS's "state of the caliphate"). pic.twitter.com/lVGNj489TT
— W.G. Dunlop (@wgdunlop) June 29, 2017
The mosque and its iconic leaning minaret was destroyed by IS terrorists last week as forces from Iraq’s elite Counter Terrorism Service got within 50 meters (160ft) of the site.
The area will now need to be excavated by engineering teams as members of IS have likely planted explosives, says special forces Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridi.
Officials had been hoping to recapture the historic 850-year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque before the end of the holy month of Ramazan.