09/29/2017, 09.49
IRAQ - SYRIA
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Return of "spectre " of al Baghdadi with a call for Isis to resist

In an audio recording the Islamic State leader calls for  attacks on infidels and their "media centers". He celebrates the blood shed in Mosul, Sirte, Raqqa, Ramadi and Hama.  Russia, the United States, Iran and their allies are main targets. US Experts: There are no reasons to doubt the authenticity. But the fate of the Caliph remains unknown.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) – After almost a year of silence, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has issued a call to IS (formerly Isis) militants to "resist" in Iraq and Syria and "multiply" attacks against media centers of the countries fighting the jihadist group. Declared dead several times, the jihadist leader broadcast an audio message yesterday that included references to North Korea and the tension with Japan. Experts are assessing the reliability of the audio, attributed by the militias to their leader and posted by al-Furqan, one of the many propaganda channels of the ISIS.

"The leaders of the Islamic State and its soldiers - the message states - have realized that the path leading ... to victory is made of patience and it is necessary to resist the infidels, whatever their alliances are." "We will remain present, we will not give up - he added - although some of us are killed, imprisoned, even in spite of our injuries."

There is currently no more information on the probable recording date of the audio message; US experts have already begun an analysis, but they have no reason to question its authenticity.

The jihadist leader calls on "the soldiers of the caliphate and the heroes of Islam" to continue pursuing the path of "jihad" and the attacks. "Unleash the war," he went on, "against your enemies [...] everywhere." Among them, he lists "the infidel nations led by the United States, Russia and Iran", which together with their allies have inflicted heavy losses in the last year on IS's militias in Iraq and Syria.

Al-Baghdadi then recalled the recent defeats, speaking of "bloodshed in Mosul, Sirte, Raqqa, Ramadi and Hama." Isis lost control of the city of Sirte, Libya, in December 2016; in February of the same year they were defeated in Ramadi; and finally Mosul in July 2017, following a prolonged Arab Kurdish offensive in the north of the country.

The last communication from Caliph al-Baghdadi, dates to November last year; in the previous message attributed to the Sunni Radical leader he spoke in a challenging tone inviting his supporters to defend the city of Mosul against allied forces.

In July, Moscow had spoken of a possible death of the head of the ISIS in an air raid launched in late May, in a place not far from Raqqa, the Isis stronghold in Syria. Russian experts launched a lengthy investigation, without finding any evidence of the claim.

Over the years, there have been various rumours about the Caliph’s movements and whereabouts, but his location remains uncertain as well as information on his state of health.

On September 1, a US military source reported that al-Baghdadi was "undoubtedly still alive" and is likely to be hiding in the valley of Euphrates in the east of Syria after leaving Mosul at the beginning of the year. This is the area where Russians and Americans expect to fight the final battle against Isis.

Washington has put a $ 25 million bounty on his capture.

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