The demolition carried by Iraqi forces because the mosque carried enormous symbolic importance for Islamic State (IS).

Relevance of the mosque for ISIS
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.

His black flag had been flying on the 150-foot (45-metre) minaret since June 2014, after Islamic State fighters surged across Iraq.

Russia recently said there was a high degree of certainty that Baghdadi was dead.  Moscow said last week its forces might have killed him.

(Adapted from The Reuters)