ISIS Militants Leave Quite a Mess in Mosul

The Background 

Iraqi forces are making the final push to get Islamic State militants out of Mosul, but they aren’t going quietly. On their way out of the city, they destroyed an 850-year-old mosque, leaving it in ruins. In a childish move, the militants decided that if they couldn’t have the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, then nobody could, demolishing it as Iraqi troops approached. The good news is that Iraq’s prime minister believes that this was a sign of their impending defeat, and that the city would be liberated in “days.”  Reuters

Why You Should Care

The ISIS militants have held the mosque (which they saw as a symbol of their power) since June 2014 when insurgents first invaded Iraq and seized control of Mosul. They immediately hung their black flag from the mosque’s tower. With the mosque in ruins, and the flag nowhere to be found, defence analysts say the group is “on the verge of collapse.”

What’s Next?

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces will continue to make their way through Mosul, liberating the city as they go. Once the government has retaken the city, the prime minister has vowed to rebuild the mosque and other landmarks that were destroyed by the militant group.