Baghdadi expresses confidence that Isis will defeat Iraqi forces in an audio recording released online by supporters.

ISIS’ media arm has released audio purportedly featuring its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he says he’s “confident of victory” in Mosul, the group’s Iraqi stronghold.

Addressing the estimated 5,000 fighters holed up in the city, he said that “holding your ground in honor is a thousand times better than retreating in disgrace.”
The timing of the message is no accident. Coming just as US-backed Iraqi counterterrorism forces have finally reached the eastern outskirts of the city of Mosul, the Sunni terrorist group’s last remaining stronghold in Iraq, the message is both a sign of how beleaguered the group is feeling right now, as well as a clear message that they will not go quietly.

n the audio, he expressed confidence in victory as Iraqi forces entered the city of Mosul where he declared a “Caliphate” two years ago.

“This … total war and the great jihad that the Islamic State is fighting today only increases our firm belief, God willing, and our conviction that all this is a prelude to victory,”

-said a voice purporting to be that of Baghdadi.

“Do not retreat … Holding your ground with honor is a thousand times easier than retreating in shame,”

-he said.

“To all the people of Nineveh, especially the fighters, beware of any weakness in facing your enemy,”

-Baghdadi said, referring to the northern Iraqi province of which Mosul is the capital.

The audio, which is nearly 32 minutes long, references Turkey’s massing of armaments along the Iraq-Turkey border, suggesting that the recording was made very recently.
Along with rallying ISIS-affiliated fighters across the globe, he warns jihadists against “conflict and disagreement.”
“You need to be one and united in your fight against your enemy. You should seek to raise the word of God on Earth,”
-he said.

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