ISIS leader emerges with first statement in months after Iraqi forces enter Mosul

Image: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an image released by ISIS in 2014. AFP – Getty Images

The “comprehensive war” launched by Iraq, the United States and their allies “only increases our solid faith and steadfast certainty, that all of this is but an introduction to the victory and sign of the [future] that Allah has promised His servants,” he said, according to Flashpoint.

Flashpoint said the message had been recorded recently, noting that it made reference to two ISIS officials whose deaths were confirmed last month.

Much of al-Baghdadi’s message focused on developments outside of Iraq and Syria. He called for attacks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and he cited supporters in other regions, including Libya.

Iraqi government forces entered the outskirts of Mosul on Tuesday for the first time in more than two years. The Associated Press reported that they paused in their advance Wednesday to clear a neighborhood of remaining ISIS militants, at least eight of whom were killed.

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