Isis, after a year of silence, the 'Caliph' al-Baghdadi renews the appeal to jihad

The audio message, the first since last September, disseminated on the official media of the Islamic State. The invitation to fight and resist until the final victory. References to recent events in the region. According to the UN, ISIS can still count on at least 30 thousand fighters and has expanded its range of action.

 Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Islamic State (IS, ex Isis) has published an audio message lasting nearly an hour of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after almost a year of silence that had fueled suspicion of his possible death. In his speech, the first since last September, the "Caliph" addresses his supporters inviting them to continue fighting and resisting in view of the final victory.

The ISIS linked website, Al Furqan, published the audio in conjunction with the Muslim festival of sacrifice, Eid Al-Adha. Although the message does not contain a specific date, the leader of the jihadist group seems to refer to recent events, including the arrest of a US Protestant pastor in Turkey.

After a rapid rise between the second half of 2014 and 2105 in Syria and Iraq, coming to conquer half of the territory and comitting very serious crimes against humanity, the jihadists gradually lost ground under the military drive of Damascus (with the Russian ally) and the Iraqi army, supported by Kurds and a US-led international coalition. Today they control only some limited areas straddling the two countries; however, their ideology remains alive and military defeat does not erase the threat.

"For the Mujahideen - al-Baghdadi states - the measure of victory or defeat is not tied to a city or a place", but is inherent in the "strength of our soldiers". An attempt, according to analysts, to justify the heavy military setbacks.

The ISIS leader has a bounty of 25 million dollars on his head; in the past he was given for dead or seriously injured several times. According to intelligence experts the "Caliph’s" message would have been recorded recently, at most a decade ago. In addition to the US pastor, he accuses Jordanians and Kurds of betraying the Arabs and harshly reproaches Syrian militias, divided among themselves, of having abandoned Eastern Ghouta and Idlib (Syria).

The message of the jihadist leader comes a short distance from the publication of a UN report, according to which Isis still represents a danger with its 30 thousand faithful throughout the world. Men of the "Caliph" would also be present in many nations of Europe, as well as in Syria, Iraq and Central Asian countries, thus expanding their field of action.