The Islamic State group has called for attacks against the United States and Europe during the month of Ramadan, which begins the first week of June, in an audio message that seemed aimed at raising the morale of its fighters.
The audio message, attributed to the group’s spokesman Abou Mohamed al-Adnani, came a day after the international coalition dropped flyers on its base in Raqqa asking the city’s residents to flee ahead of an upcoming offensive.
The spokesman said in the recording: “Shall we be defeated if we lose Mosul or Sirte or Raqqa or all these cities and go back to how we were?” before responding: “No, defeat is only losing the will and desire to fight.”
The cities of Mosul in northern Iraq and Sirte in northern Libya are also key bases for the group.
Adnani said in his first audio recording since October 2015 that the international coalition had been unable to defeat the group despite thousands of air raids and threatened attacks against the United States and Europe.
Terrorism expert Aymenn al-Tamimi commented on the recording, saying: “It would appear [ISIS] is more clearly acknowledging its limitations in holding territory” and was therefore focusing on the “idea of living on despite losses.”
The American army said that the United States and its allies carried out 18 air strikes on Friday against ISIS in Iraq and seven in Syria.
The army’s statement said that four strikes in Iraq were near Mosul and struck four of the group’s tactical units and three of its vehicles.
The statement added that four strikes in Syria were near Raqqa and hit weapons storehouses and one of the group’s checkpoints.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.