ISIS blows up famous Mosul mosque

 ISIS blows up famous Mosul mosque

ISIS blew up a historic mosque in Mosul that was the ideological heart of the terror group and the birthplace of its self-declared caliphate, the United States and Iraq said.

ISIS, through its news agency, said US warplanes were responsible for the loss late Wednesday of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its leaning minaret.

US officials told CNN the ISIS claim was "1,000% false."

On July 4, 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi led Friday prayers in the mosque. The cleric declared the founding of a new caliphate and called on fellow Sunnis to carry out a holy war. It was the first and last time the leader of the terrorist group spoke publicly to his followers.

US and coalition officials have observed the mosque for several days and have seen fighters and explosives at the site, several US officials have told CNN in recent days. The Iraqi military said "ISIS terrorist gangs" blew up the mosque as Iraqi forces were approaching, CNN reported.