As US-backed forces surrounded Mosul in an effort to wrest the city from ISIS control, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on his followers to commit terror attacks wherever they are and wreak havoc.
Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Wednesday released a message urging his followers to keep up the fight for Mosul and spill the blood of the “infidels” as they fend off an offensive by combined forces to rest Iraq’s second largest city from the terror group’s control.
Al-Baghdadi’s half hour-long battle cry, the first message he has released in a year, came in a sermon-like recording.
He attempted to rally his fighters, especially in Mosul, and called on them to obey orders while remaining resilient and steadfast.
“Oh you who seek martyrdom! Start your actions! Turn the night of the disbelievers into day,” he says.
“Totally decimate their territories, and make their blood flow like rivers,” al-Baghdadi declares.
He urged his followers to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which has deployed forces and artillery north of Mosul and is training the allied forces attacking Mosul.
Using a derogatory term for Shiites, one of the forces attacking the city and one of ISIS’ primary enemies, he said followers of the Muslim sect want to drive and “empty Iraq of Sunnis and replace them with the worst of people.”
Al-Baghdadi asserted that “Jews, Christians, Shiite heretics and all nations have allocated their media, all their money, all their equipment, and all their armies to fight against Muslims and jihadi fighters in Mosul after they saw it as one of the bases of Islam and a beacon of the caliphate.”
He called on fighters to “respond to all attacks,” and to “target all in their media and forces, and all who belong to them.”
ISIS is fighting to hold the city, which it has controlled since June 2014, as combined Iraqi forces and Kurdish forces advance on the city from multiple directions, with US support.
Iraqi Special Forces stormed into Mosul’s eastern outskirts Tuesday after two weeks of advances through surrounding ISIS-held territory. The battle is expected to take on devastating proportions once the liberating forces reach the city itself, fighting a street-to-street battle that can take weeks, if not months.
By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.