Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says a U.S.-led military campaign against his group was failing in a speech purported to be in his name posted to the Internet. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
REUTERS COULD NOT INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRM THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE AUDIO RECORDING OF ISLAMIC STATE LEADER, ABU BAKR AL-BAGHDADI Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said a U.S.-led military campaign against his group in Syria and Iraq was failing and he called for "volcanoes of jihad" the world over, in a speech purported to be in his name posted to the Internet on Thursday (November 13). Baghdadi also called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia saying his self-declared caliphate was expanding there and in four other Arab countries. Reuters could not independently confirm the authenticity of the speech - an audio recording carried on Islamic State-run social media. The voice sounded similar to a previous speech delivered by Baghdadi in July in a mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the last time he spoke in public. It followed contradictory accounts out of Iraq after U.S. air strikes last Friday (November 7) about whether he was wounded in a raid. The United States said on Tuesday (November 11) it could not confirm whether he was killed or wounded in Iraq following a strike near the city of Falluja. The speech was not dated but carried a reference to a November 7 U.S. announcement that President Barack Obama had approved sending up to 1,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq. "And soon the Jews and crusaders will be forced to come down to the ground and send their ground forces to their deaths and destruction, by Allah's permission. Rather, this has already begun. Here is Obama who has ordered the deployment of 1,500 additional soldiers claiming they are advisors because the crusaders' air strikes and constant bombardment - day and night - on Islamic State have not stopped its advance, nor weakened its resolve," he said. U.S. President Barack Obama has said the United States aims to degrade and eventually destroy Islamic State, which has reshaped the Middle East by seizing large areas of Iraq and Syria and is imposing its radical interpretation of Sunni Islam. Baghdadi urged Islamic State fighters to continue their actions. "Oh soldiers of the Islamic State, continue to harvest the soldiers. Erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere. Light the earth with fire upon all the tyrants, their soldiers and supporters. Carry on in your path, as you are the strong by Allah's permission. Carry on, as you are the honourable. Carry on, as you are the superior. Carry on, as you are the victorious. In sha'allah," he said. Islamic State has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate over territory it controls in June. Baghdadi said he had accepted oaths of allegiance from supporters in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Algeria.