A spokesman of the Islamic State (ISIS) said in a defiant audio message that his group would not be defeated, even if it loses its strongholds in Syria and Iraq or its leader is killed in US air strikes.
“Your threats do not frighten us and you will never win over us,” Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, the official spokesman of the terrorist group, said in an audio message posted online Saturday.
The militant, whose real name is Taha Subhi Falaha, said that even if ISIS loses its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa or Mosul in Iraq, that would not amount to defeat, nor would the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“The loss of Raqqa, Mosul and the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would not mean that we have lost,” the spokesman said in the 30-minute recording.
He said Western reports about the group growing weaker – as US military officials have recently been saying – are untrue.
“You think defeat is the loss of a city or a land? Were we defeated when several cities of Iraq were taken away from us and we went to the desert? Will we lose if you control Mosul, Raqqa and other cities that were previously controlled by us: Definitely ‘no,’ because defeat is only the loss of the wish and will to fight.”
Naming several top ISIS leaders that have been killed in US airstrikes over the past several months, Adnani said their deaths – or the deaths of other living leaders – would not drive the group to defeat.
“There is only one way for the US to gain victory and that is by taking the Quran out of the hearts of Muslims,” Adnani claimed.