On Thursday, Iraqi forces captured what remains of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the Islamic State caliphate finished. However, the militants still hold a large amount of Iraqi territory, including some within Mosul, and they will likely continue attacks into the future. Also captured on Thursday were the al-Saa’a Church and Omar al-Aswad Mosque.
The mosque became a focal point of the Islamic State exactly three years ago on June 29, 2014, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the formation of his caliphate during a speech at the mosque. Last week, in a possible attempt to deny Iraq from using the recaptured mosque as a symbol of victory, Islamic State militants apparently destroyed it.
Canada extended its mission to fight the Islamic State for two more years. The country has about 200 special forces troops currently deployed in Iraq.
At least 975 people were killed and nine were wounded in recent days:
In Mosul, Dr. Saadullah Khafaf, a medical doctor working with the security forces, reported that over 200 civilians were killed either in crossfire or shot by the militants in the last week. About 100 have died of exposure. Meanwhile, Major Dhia Thamir admitted that hundreds more are lying dead under the rubble of destroyed buildings. A car bomb killed four civilians and an officer. At least 600 militants were killed during the capture of the Great Mosque. Another 69 militants were killed and five were wounded in southern areas. An ISIS/Daesh reporter was killed.
Four Peshmerga were wounded in a blast in Dibs.