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ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says ‘caliphate’ well despite strikes

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Beirut: The Islamic State group has released a new message purportedly from its reclusive leader, claiming his self-styled “caliphate” is doing “well” despite an unprecedented alliance against it.

In the 24-minute audio posted on Saturday, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says airstrikes by the international coalition only increase his group’s determination and resolve. He also mocks a recently announced Saudi-led Islamic alliance against “terrorism” and warns Israel that “we are getting closer to you” every day.

To Israeli Jews, he says that they “will hide behind trees and stones” from the IS. Al-Baghdadi urges Muslims world over to join the fight, saying it is their Islamic duty to rise up everywhere. The authenticity of the audio could not be independently confirmed but it was posted on IS-affiliated websites and Twitter as past IS messages.