ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi remained upbeat in a new 24 minute audio message, insisting his caliphate is doing well despite an ever-growing series of airstrikes and coalition-building efforts against them, insisting the airstrikes only increase their resolve.
Baghdadi presented the conflict as a fully global war, uniting all “disbelievers” against his nation of true Muslims, saying his followers remain confident that they will eventually be granted victory, while mocking the coalitions aligned against them.
He suggested the US reluctance to put “boots on the ground” as proof the US fears ISIS, of course not mentioning the ever-growing US deployments in the region which are being presented as something short of boots on the ground, and dismissed the Saudi “Islamic coalition” as the tool of “Crusader lords.”
He also made a rare step in ISIS propaganda, singling out Israel and saying that ISIS has “not forgotten” about them and its territory is drawing ever closer to Israel, saying of the Jews that “Palestine will be your graveyard.”
While Islamist factions often play up hostility to Israel as a key talking point, ISIS has traditionally not spent a lot of time on talking up this conflict in the past. Whether this narrative shift suggests a shift in ISIS targeting strategy or not remains to be seen.