Attack On Mosul Historical Mosque May Amount To War Crime – U.N.
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Friday, condemned the destruction of the leaning al-Hadba minaret that towered over Mosul for 850 years the laying to ruins of the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, demolished by retreating Islamic State militants.
OHCHR spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani said the attacks could amount to a war crime.
The demolition came on Wednesday night as Iraqi forces closed in on the mosque, which carried enormous symbolic importance for Islamic State (IS).
It was there that its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” as militants seized swathes of Syria and Iraq.
He proclaimed himself the caliph, ruler of all Muslims, from the mosque’s pulpit.
The jihadists appear to have chosen to blow up the mosque rather than see their flag torn down by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces battling through the maze of narrow alleys and streets of the Old City, the last district of Mosul still under the control of Islamic State.
The mosque’s destruction comes in the holiest period of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, its final 10 days. The night of Laylat al-Qadr falls during this period, when Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the prophet Mohammed.