Au­dio record­ing urges more at­tacks on West

The Weekend Post - - World -

IS­LAMIC State leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagh­dadi has ex­horted fol­low­ers across the world to wage at­tacks against the West and to keep fight­ing in Iraq, Syria and else­where.

The mes­sage re­leased on Thurs­day was his first pur­ported au­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion in al­most a year dur­ing which his ji­hadist group lost much of its self-pro­claimed “caliphate”.

The au­dio, partly ded­i­cated to re­li­gious scrip­tures, came af­ter sev­eral re­ports Bagh­dadi had been killed. His last record­ing was in Novem­ber 2016, two weeks af­ter the start of the bat­tle to re­cap­ture the city of Mo­sul from Is­lamic State.

“Oh sol­diers of the caliphate, fan the flames of war on your en­e­mies, take it to them and be­siege them in every cor­ner, and stand fast and cour- ageous. Be­ware of re­treat, or the feel­ing of de­feat, be­ware of ne­go­ti­a­tions or sur­ren­der. Do not lay down your arms,” Bagh­dadi said, re­fer­ring to fol­low­ers in Iraq, Syria, Saudi Ara­bia, North Africa and else­where in Africa.

The date of the 46-minute record­ing, re­leased via the AlFurqan news or­gan­i­sa­tion, was not clear. But in it, Bagh­dadi makes an ap­par­ent reference to re­cent events in­clud­ing North Korean threats against Ja­pan and US and the re­cap­ture two months ago of Mo­sul by US-backed Iraqi forces.

Since Bagh­dadi pro­claimed the caliphate stretch­ing across Iraq and Syria in 2014, Iraqi forces have re­taken a string of cities in Iraq in­clud­ing Mo­sul, where Bagh­dadi made his an­nounce­ment from the city’s El Nuri mosque. Mean­while, sev- eral Is­lamic State mil­i­tants have been killed in US airstrikes in Libya, the US Africa Com­mand (AFRICOM) says.

US forces con­ducted two pre­ci­sion airstrikes against mil­i­tants on Tues­day in an area about 160km south­east of the coastal city of Sirte, the for­mer strong­hold of the Is­lamic State ex­trem­ist mili­tia in Libya.

AFRICOM did not de­tail the ex­act num­ber of deaths.

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