The photographs are new, from different angles, from different moments in the process, from different people of different politics; their details match up with the details on other photos and satellite images. Christopher Jones (@cwjones89) and I agree: it’s gone; the Islamic State has blown up the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus.
The geographical and architectural plan of the destroyed site is the same as that of the Shrine-Mosque of the Prophet Yunus (or Younis) and its Tomb of the Prophet Jonah. The terracing, walls, portals and arches of the ancient site are the same. The water tower, roads, street lamps, vehicles in the surrounding modern neighbourhood are the same. The many photographs all correspond with each other. This has happened.
The Islamic State(1) ‘first ordered everyone out of the Mosque of the Prophet Younis, or Jonah, then blew it up‘ (and thereby damaged nearby homes) because ‘the mosque had become a place for apostasy, not prayer’.
Confirmation, historical fact
Asmaa A. Akif (@Asmaa1089) shared a photo of the dust cloud from the explosion from a high vantage point: ‘Prophet Yunus mosque in #Iraq #Mosul has been blown up by #ISIS few minutes ago.’
Arab Leaks (@WikLaeks) and Ali Hussain (@TheJenabi) shared before and after photos. ‘The bombing of the shrine of Nabi Yunis in Mosul!! [تفجير مرقد النبي يونس في الموصل !!]’ ‘The shrine and mosque of Prophet Younis (pbuh) (Jonah) in the city of Mosul has been demolished by #ISIS terrorists.’
‘Another photo of the Shrine of Younis thats bombed by #ISIS in #Mosul’ was shared by Amjed Rasheed (@AmjedRasheed), which was from a different viewpoint from the ground after the demolition. All of the visual features (from the archaeological site to the street lamps) in that photo corresponded with those from Arab Leaks’ viewpoint.
Mark (@markito0171) shared three more images, one from during the explosion and two from afterwards: ‘#Iraq #Mosul #IslamicState blow up famous Prophet Jonah/Younis mosque incl. tomb of Prophet http://wikimapia.org/#lang=de&lat=36.347986&lon=43.159661&z=17&m=b‘. R (@rmshava) shared them likewise: ‘Islamic State blows up Mosque of Jonah (which was built over an Assyrian church), including his tomb #Mosul.’
Rami Al Lolah (@RamiAlLolah) shared three close-up photos of the aftermath of the explosion: ‘Destruction of Yunus prophet shrine in #Mosul today. #Iraq #ISIS’
Known unknowns: damage to Nebi Yunis (Jonah’s Mound) [update 25th July 2014]
It is not clear how much damage has been done to Jonah’s Mound (Nebi Younis), the archaeological remains on top of which Jonah’s Tomb and the Mosque of Jonah were built.
What’s good for the goose, is good for the propaganda [update (24th July 2014)]
An Islamic State activist (@ISIS_Urdu) has claimed: ‘we have not destroy mosque , nor dug his grave just blow tomb.. building abov grave’. Abdulla Hawez (@abdullahawez) reiterated: ‘#ISIS blow up prophet Jonah(Younis)’s tomb in Musil, but left the mosque next to it untouched. #Iraq’ The photographs – and, especially graphically, the video – show the explosion of the minaret and the ruination of the entire site. ii (@oivej) tipped me off to a video tour of the damage.
Photographs, videos, satellite imagery
1: The Islamic State or Caliphate has also been known as Da’ash, Da’esh, Da’ish, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).