Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi says 'caliphate' is doing well in new audio clip

BEIRUT -- The Islamic State group on Saturday released a new message purportedly from its reclusive leader, claiming that his self-styled "caliphate" is doing well despite an unprecedented alliance against it and criticizing the recently announced Saudi-led Islamic military coalition against terrorism.

See Full Article

In the 24-minute audio, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said airstrikes by the international coalition only increase his group's determination and resolve. The message was al-Baghdadi's first since May, and comes amid battlefield setbacks that IS has recently faced.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-backed coalition of rebels in Syria -- including Syrian Kurdish, Arab and Christian groups -- captured a major dam on the Euphrates River from the Islamic State group as part of the coalition's march on IS-held areas in northern Syria.

The coalition, known as Syria Democratic Forces, announced earlier this week a new offensive aimed at cutting supply lines between IS strongholds in the country's north. The SDF said it seized the Tishrin Dam, which supplies much off northern Syria with electricity, on Saturday.

An SDF spokesman told AP earlier this week that his forces are also trying to cut the supply lines between the Islamic State's de-facto capital of Raqqa and the group's stronghold of Manbij in northern Syria.

The SDF, dominated by the main Kurdish militia in Syria known as YPG, or People's Protection Units, has become a main force in fighting IS.

The Islamic State group has come under pressure in Syria and Iraq, where it has declared its self-styled Islamic caliphate on territory that the militant group controls. It lost the town Sinjar in Iraq last month, and areas across the border in Syria at the same time. Iraqi government troops are also advancing in the Islamic State-held city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of the sprawling Anbar province, Iraq's Sunni heartland.

Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition and Russia in Syria have also destroyed Syrian oil facilities and killed several IS leaders in recent weeks.

"It is unprecedented in the history of our Ummah (Islamic nation) that all the world came against it in one battle, as it is happening today. It is the battle of all the disbelievers against all the Muslims," al-Baghdadi said.

He said the U.S.-led alliance does "not scare us... nor do they scatter our resolve because we are the victors in any event."

Al-Baghdadi also taunted the United States for not putting boots on the ground. "They do not dare to come, because their hearts are full of fear from the mujahideen,"or holy warriors, he said.

"America and its allies dream of destroying the caliphate through their proxies and henchmen, and whenever an alliance of theirs fails or a tail is cut, they hasten to establish another, until they recently declared the Salouli (Saudi) alliance that was falsely called Islamic," al-Baghdadi added.

If the Saudi-led alliance was truly Islamic, then it would fight the Syrian army and its Russian "masters," as well as Shiites and Jews, al-Baghdadi said.

In mid-December, Saudi Arabia announced the new, 34-member alliance against terrorism, to be based in the kingdom's capital, Riyadh. But Shiite powerhouse Iran is not part of the new coalition; neither are Iraq and Syria, whose forces are battling to regain ground from the Islamic State group and whose governments are allied with Tehran.

In the audio, al-Baghdadi also warned nations taking part in the war against IS by saying: "We promise you, God permitting, that whoever participates in the war against the Islamic State will pay the price dearly."

He threatened Israel by saying, "we haven't forgotten you" and "we are getting closer to you" every day. To Israeli Jews, he said that they "will hide behind trees and stones" from the IS.

He also urged Muslims world over to join the IS fight, saying it is their Islamic duty to rise up everywhere.

The authenticity of the audio could not be independently confirmed but it was posted on IS-affiliated websites and Twitter as past IS messages. Also, it was produced by the al-Furqan Media Foundation, IS media arm.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • South Korea's ex-president questioned at court as prosecutors push for arrest

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea's disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye was being questioned Thursday by a court that will decide if she should be arrested over corruption allegations that have already toppled her from power. Source
  • Ivanka Trump to become unpaid White House employee [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump is officially joining her father’s administration as an unpaid employee, after her plans to serve in a more informal capacity were questioned by ethics experts. The first daughter announced Wednesday that she will serve as an unpaid employee in the White House, saying she had “heard the concerns some have with my advising the President in my personal capacity. Source
  • North Carolina lawmakers announce deal to end 'bathroom bill' standoff

    World News CTV News
    RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina Republican lawmakers said Wednesday night that they have an agreement with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on legislation to resolve a standoff over the state's "bathroom bill." GOP leaders announced the new legislation would be debated and voted on Thursday. Source
  • 13 killed after bus, truck collide in Texas [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    UVALDE, Texas — A small shuttle bus carrying Texas church members home from a retreat collided head-on with a pickup truck, killing 13 people and injuring two others Wednesday on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas, officials said. Source
  • 13 killed in bus-truck collision in southwestern Texas

    World News CBC News
    A small shuttle bus carrying Texas church members home from a retreat collided head-on with a pickup truck, killing 13 people Wednesday on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas, officials said. All of the victims who died were senior adults who attended First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas. Source
  • Alberta grey jay web cam may be a first, thrilling online fans

    Canada News CBC News
    A recently installed web cam in central Alberta may be the first to capture the breeding behaviour of Canada's unofficial national bird, the grey jay, and online fans around the world are tuning in. "I was extremely excited," biologist Myrna Pearman with the Ellis Bird Farm told The Homestretch, when she learned there was a fresh grey jay nest near a home in Caroline, Alta. Source
  • Inquest jury to begin deliberations into Regina woman's laundry-chute death

    Canada News CBC News
    The lawyer representing the family of Nadine Machiskinic said the coroner's inquest established at least a couple key facts. The 29-year-old mother of four fell 10 storeys down a Regina hotel laundry chute to her death. Source
  • Toronto man's home trashed, belongings stolen after Airbnb rental

    Canada News CTV News
    A Toronto man who rented his apartment to a stranger using the website Airbnb says he returned home to find it trashed and $21,000 worth of possessions missing. Mathew Lyn says the thieves stole camera equipment, a drone, clothes, shoes -- even his luggage. Source
  • Mexican judge suspended amid outrage over sexual assault ruling

    World News CBC News
    Prosecutors in Mexico are appealing a court ruling that dismissed sex crime charges because there was no proof the suspect acted "with lascivious intent," and judicial authorities announced Wednesday that the judge in the case had been suspended. Source
  • Kenn Borek Air crews honoured with Smithsonian award for perilous South Pole rescue mission

    Canada News CBC News
    A 10-hour mission from Calgary to the South Pole to rescue two sick workers had Calgary-based air crews receiving a Smithsonian award in Washington on Wednesday night. Last June, two Twin Otter Kenn Borek Air aircraft flew from Calgary to Chile to Rothera, Antarctica. Source