Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is reportedly hiding out in the besieged city of Mosul, released his first message since 2015, urging followers to wage all-out war and take the fighting into Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
In the recorded message, the Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) chief also expressed confidence that the terrorist group would ultimately be victorious in fending off the Iraqi forces and allied militias trying to retake Mosul, where he declared the ‘caliphate’ two years ago.
The 31-minute-long recording, the authenticity of which could not be verified, was released by Islamic State supporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.
The IS leader also threatened to carry out multiple attacks in Saudi Arabia, targeting the Islamic kingdom’s security services, government officials and, notably, members of Al Saud royal family, while accusing them of siding with countries involved in hostilities in Iraq and Syria.
In the meantime, some top-tier Syrian officials believe the US may allow Islamic State’s jihadists to freely leave the city. In late October, President Bashar Assad’s media adviser, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, told RT: “The way they encircle Mosul shows they would like these terrorists to move into to Syria.
“They’re navigating terrorism from one place to another, limiting terrorism in one place, directing it to another place. That’s the absolute truth of what is happening in our region,” she asserted.