IS leader urges fight to death in Iraq, audio claims
The leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has expressed confidence in victory as Iraqi forces entered the city of Mosul where he declared a "caliphate" two years ago, according to The Guardian.
"This … total war and the great jihad that the Islamic State is fighting today only increases our firm belief, God willing, and our conviction that all this is a prelude to victory," said a voice purporting to be that of Baghdadi in a recording released on Thursday by the Isis-affiliated al-Furqan media, The Guardian wrote.
Read alsoAP: Iraqi advance pauses to clear houses, roads at Mosul's edge"Do not retreat … Holding your ground with honour is a thousand times easier than retreating in shame,” he said in the message, his first since December 2015.
"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. The audio message does not refer to Mosul specifically.