ISIL ‘chief’ Al-Baghdadi warns Israel: “We did not forget Palestine.”
The leader of the Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria has made a new audio announcement, warning the “crusaders” of the West, telling them to keep away from his turf.
In his first public message in seven months Al-Baghdadi stated that: “soon you shall hear from us in Palestine.” The ISIL leader has not forgotten Palestine: “With the help of Allah, we will not forget it.”
This will no doubt be the ‘reason’ that brings Israel openly and fully into the Syrian and wider Middle East conflict.
The Telegraph reports:
In a rare public statement – his first in seven months – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said Western countries had “learned from” previous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Crusaders and Jews don’t dare to come on the ground because they were defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said in a 23-minute long audio message released through an Isil-run internet account.
The message – dubbed an “alternative Christmas broadcast” on social media – appeared to be an effort to rally Isil followers against the growing number of enemies arrayed against them.
The leader, who has rarely been pictured and has not been heard from since he was believed to have been injured in an airstrike by Iraqi forces in October, Russian or US-led airstrikes had failed to weaken the group, which was only “expanding and getting stronger”.
“Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets,” he said.
He also called on Saudi citizens – the second biggest contributor to Isil ranks – to “rise up” against their government as he dimissed the kingdom’s newly formed Muslim coalition against the caliphate.
He also said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) would soon be in Palestine to establish an Islamic state there. “Jews, soon you shall hear from us in Palestine which will become your grave,” the voice, purporting to be Baghdadi, is heard saying.
“The Jews thought we forgot Palestine and that they had distracted us from it,” he says in the recording. “Not at all, Jews. We did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it… The pioneers of the jihadist fighters will surround you on a day that you think is distant and we know is close. We are getting closer every day.”
Baghdadi had reportedly been seriously injured in a Iraqi airstrike in October.
The leader is thought to constantly move between Isil’s strongholds of Raqqa, northeastern Syria, and Mosul, in Iraq, in a bid to avoid airstrikes.
In the statement titled “Wait for we as well are waiting with you”, Bagdadi boasted that the group had fought off advances in both Syria and Iraq.
The militant Sunni Islamist group controls swathes of Iraq and Syria but has come under intensifying military pressure in recent weeks.