Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a recent “farewell speech,” admits defeat and tells his Iraqi fighters in the battlefield to “flee and hide” or “ blow themselves up when surrounded by Iraqi forces.”
ISIS has been taking a beating in Iraq. Their last line of defense in Mosul is collapsing and there is no place to go but into the mountains of Iraq and Syria. It is believed that al-Baghdadi left Iraq immediately after giving his farewell address. Arabic-language al-Sumaria News reported that the fighters were specifically ordered to flee Mosul, which is expected to fall into the hands of the US and Iraqi forces besieging the city.
But ISIS is like cockroaches. If the lights go off and the borders are ignored like they were under Obama, they could swarm back in and retake at least some of the ground they lost. Vigilance will be needed to keep them out.
According to the Iraqi news outlet, the text of the speech was disseminated among other ISIS speakers to deliver to fighters at different locations in Mosul.
Furthermore, the speech “included a recognition of the group’s defeat in recent fighting and directed its combatants to ‘disguise and escape’ to the mountainous areas” of Iraq and Syria, reports al-Sumaria, quoting the source.
Baghdadi’s “sermon also included instructions to the members of the organization telling them to blow themselves up when surrounded by Iraqi forces,” the unnamed source told al-Sumaria.
High-ranking ISIS officers, particularly the leaders of the group’s so-called Mujahideen Shura (advisory) Council, have already fled to Syria, leaving behind their strongholds in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province, which houses Mosul.
The ISIS chief revealed that “prominent” ISIS “leaders” are “moving closer to the border between Iraq and Syria,” points out the source.
His comments are consistent with recent revelations by Lt. Gen. Raid Shakir Jaudat, the commander of Iraq’s Federal Police, who said ISIS leaders are fleeing Mosul.
“The terrorist organization [Islamic State is] living in a state of shock, confusion and defeat, and its fighters are fighting in isolated groups,” declared Gen. Jaudat, according to CNN.
Now, Syria along with their Iranian and Russian allies have the headache alone, although don’t be surprised if Trump and Putin get together to defat them there as well. We have no love for Assad but we do have an interest in wiping out ISIS. We could also aid Saudi Arabia in Yemen. As ISIS fighters flee, it is more important than ever that we carefully vet refugees coming from Syria and Iraq.