Written By: FA ME
The Grand Mosque in Mosul where ISIS leader had preached in July 2014 will be the most important site to be liberated in Mosul. As Iraqi forces are advancing on the west bank of the city, and with the consecutive victories that they had achieved in the last few months, many people are focusing on certain areas inside the city of Mosul, and the Grand Mosque is one of them.
The Mosque that is dated back to to the year 1172, and was built by Nur ad-Din Zangi, who descends from a Turkish family. It is considered the oldest Mosque in the city and the area surrounding that Mosque was named after it.
According to witnesses from inside the city of Mosul, this Mosque has been revered greatly, and was seen of significant importance. One of the reason for that is because ISIS leader, Abu Bakir Al-Baghdadi had preached in it back in 2014 when Mosul city fell to ISIS and Iraq forces had withdrawn from it.
Eyes are fixed on the liberation of the Mosque, which I expect will be difficult, because of the importance of this site for ISIS leaders and fighters. The liberation of the Mosque will be a symbolic defeat, as much as there is defeat in reality for ISIS in Mosul, but yet this will end a bloody chapter inside Mosul, and in Iraq as well. The expectations are that ISIS fighters will do something to the Mosque before it falls in the control of Iraqi forces. It is unlikely that they will destroy it, but they might remove certain parts of the interior of the Mosque and hide it somewhere else. Particularly the pulpit, where ISIS leader preached.