The Islamic State group has launched a video of a person it says is its chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, vowing to hunt revenge for its lack of territory.
He has not been seen since 2014, when he proclaimed from Mosul the creation of a “caliphate” throughout elements of Syria and Iraq.
On this new footage, Baghdadi acknowledges defeat at Baghuz, the group’s final stronghold within the area.
It isn’t clear when the video was recorded. IS says it was shot in April.
The footage was posted on the militant group’s al-Furqan media community.
A US State Division spokesman stated the tapes can be inspected by analysts to establish their authenticity, including that the US-led coalition stays dedicated to making sure any IS “leaders who stay are delivered the justice that they deserve”.
What does he say?
Baghdadi says that he has had pledges of allegiance from militants in Burkina Faso and Mali, and talks concerning the protests in Sudan and Algeria – saying jihad is the one resolution to “tyrants”. Each nations have seen their long-term rulers overthrown this month.
Baghdadi’s picture disappears in direction of the top of the video and an audio recording of him discussing the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday assaults is performed as an alternative, suggesting that this half was recorded after the principle video was filmed.
Baghdadi says the Sri Lanka assaults have been carried out as revenge for the autumn of the Syrian city of Baghuz.
BBC Monitoring analyst Mina al-Lami factors out preliminary IS claims concerning the Sri Lanka assaults make no reference to the city.
Baghdadi – an Iraqi whose actual identify is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Badri – was final heard from in an audio recording final August.
On the time, he gave the impression to be making an attempt to shift consideration away from his group’s crippling losses, BBC Center East correspondent Martin Persistence says.
However this newest 18-minute video addresses the losses head on.
“The battle for Baghuz is over,” he says, earlier than including: “There might be extra to come back after this battle.”
He additionally reportedly says the group is combating a “battle of attrition”.
Defeated, however not giving in
Evaluation by BBC safety correspondent Frank Gardner
For his hardcore followers, there may be virtually as a lot symbolism on this video as there may be content material.
The underlying message is not only one among survival towards the chances. The optics listed below are classic Osama Bin Laden: the jihadist chief squatting cross-legged in an nameless room beside a brief, personalised, paratrooper model of an AK assault rifle, the quasi-military fishing waistcoat, the attentive companions calmly discussing plans, and the lengthy, prematurely ageing gray beard (he’s solely 47).
Over the past 5 years, Islamic State has largely eclipsed al-Qaeda on the media entrance. On the similar time, IS has been reaching out to potential jihadist associates in areas of Africa and Asia which have beforehand appeared to al-Qaeda for help.
The overriding goal of this video is obvious: to point out that regardless of its resounding navy defeat IS has survived and that its chief, with a $25m bounty on his head, continues to be at giant.
What occurred to the ‘caliphate’?
At its peak, IS dominated over 88,000 sq km (34,000 sq miles) stretching throughout the Iraq-Syria border.
Militants carried out widespread and systematic assaults that the UN has stated might quantity to conflict crimes, crimes towards humanity, and genocide. The atrocities included massacres of troops and civilians, and the kidnapping and sexual enslavement of hundreds of girls and ladies from Iraq’s Yazidi spiritual minority.
However by 2016 IS was in retreat. The following yr, it misplaced Mosul in Iraq, depriving Baghdadi and his followers of the town the place that they had declared the caliphate’s creation.
In October 2017, they have been pushed from the Syrian metropolis of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the caliphate.
They continued to lose territory all through 2018, culminating within the group retreating to Baghuz.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared that they had taken management of the city, asserting the top of the “caliphate” in March 2019.
Who’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was born in 1971 in Samarra, Iraq.
As a toddler he’s stated to have had a ardour for Koranic recitation and spiritual legislation, chastising members of his circle of relatives for falling wanting his stringent spiritual requirements.
Nevertheless it was throughout his time in graduate college, when he was finishing a Grasp’s and PhD in Koranic Research at Iraq’s Saddam College for Islamic Research, that he grew to become concerned with hardline Islamist teams.
By the top of 2000 he had embraced Salafist jihadism, and would go on to turn out to be concerned with al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) – from which the Islamic State militant group was born.
Since his 2014 public look he has remained silent for lengthy intervals, punctuated solely by unconfirmed experiences of his demise and some unverified audio recordings.