ISIS calls for a ‘holy war’ against Americans and Russians


ISIS supporters waving the group's flag north Syria. File photo

ARA News

ISTANBUL – The radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) has released an audio tape online confirming its second in command was killed during an airstrike in August.

Pro-ISIS sources circulated the recording on social media, which says Abu Mutaz al-Quarashi (also known as Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali) was wiped out in an American airstrike in the Iraqi city of Mosul on August 21.

The extremist group revealed in a recorded statement that it seeks revenge, vowing to launch “strategic operations” against its enemies. 

ISIS has also stressed that Russia will be on the list of its strategic targets for its military intervention in Syria. 

Al-Hayali was a senior member of ISIS’ ruling council and responsible for moving huge caches of weapons, bombs, vehicles and people between Iraq and Syria, according to a monitoring group.

“All Muslims should start a holy war against Russians and Americans over their crusaders’ war in the Middle East,” ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani said in the audio message.

“Islamic youth everywhere, ignite jihad against the Russians and the Americans in their crusaders’ war against Muslims,” he added. 

ISIS made no specific mention of the jihadi group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the statement. He was belived to be wounded in the same attack, but his whereabouts and fate remained ambiguous.

On Sunday, an ISIS convoy, which included the group’s leader al-Baghdadi, was attacked by the U.S.-led coalition in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, during which eight senior ISIS figures were killed. 

Other ISIS headquarters were bombed during a raid near Ramadi on Monday, activists reported.

This comes as the U.S. and Russia continue conducting separate airstrikes in Syria, saying they are “targeting ISIS”. Meanwhile, activists confirmed that Russian warplanes are backing pro-Assad forces to combat rebels in the Syrian provinces of Homs, Hamah, Latakia and Aleppo. 

Washington accuses Moscow’s campaign of targeting moderate rebel groups, including those have fought ISIS. However, Russia denies the claims, emphasizing it strikes ISIS and other “jihadi groups” in Syria.

Reporting by: Egid Yousef

Source: ARA News

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