News Nation Logo

Watch: The battle of Mosul: Baghdadi urges fighters not to retreat as Iraqi forces corner IS

It Was Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's First Statement Since Iraqi Forces Launched A Massive Offensive On October 17 To Retake The City, Where The IS Chief Declared The Group's Caliphate Two Years Ago

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Kanishk Sharma | Updated on: 04 Nov 2016, 12:27:44 AM

New Delhi:

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State has urged his fighters to hold their ground as Iraqi forces closed in on Mosul, the last urban stronghold of the dreaded terrorist group in the country.

It was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's first statement since Iraqi forces launched a massive offensive on October 17 to retake the city, where the IS chief declared the group's "caliphate" two years ago.

Read: ISIS chief al-Baghdadi trapped by Iraqi forces inside Mosul 

"Do not retreat, holding your ground with honour is a thousand times easier than retreating in shame." Baghdadi said in a purported audio message released by an IS-affiliated group.

“To all the people of Nineveh, especially the fighters, beware of any weakness in facing your enemy,” Baghdadi said, referring to the northern Iraqi province of which Mosul is the capital. 

Read: Iraq army force enter jihadist held Mosul

If authentic, the recording entitled "This is what God and his messenger have promised us", would be Baghdadi's first since December 2015 and a rare sign of life.

Read: ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi seriously ill after being poisoned, say reports

Rumours have swirled about the Iraqi jihadist leader's health and movements but his whereabouts are unclear. 

In his latest message, which is undated but makes reference to events that are at most a few weeks old, Baghdadi also calls for attacks against Saudi Arabia - a favourite target - and Turkey. 

Baghdadi also said that his followers who could not travel to Syria or Iraq should aim for Libya and urged all IS fighters to remain united in adversity. 

(With inputs from PTI)

For all the Latest World News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.

First Published : 04 Nov 2016, 12:02:00 AM