Islamic State group calls on followers to avenge Syria siege


BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — Besieged by U.S.-backed forces in their last foothold in Syria, Islamic State militants are calling on supporters across the world to stage attacks in their defense, according to a newly released audio recording.

The recording, purportedly from IS, came as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces continued to face stiff resistance Tuesday from IS gunmen. The U.S.-backed fighters tried to push deeper into the village of Baghouz on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

Despite the fighting, SDF officials said scores of fighters have surrendered.

The brief, minute-and-a half recording, released by IS supporters on social media and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group late Monday said men, women and children in Baghouz are being subjected to a “holocaust by the Crusaders,” which is militant jargon for the U.S.-led coalition against IS.

In the audio, an unidentified IS militant calls on Muslim “brothers, in Europe and in the whole world” to “rise against the Crusaders and … take revenge for your religion.” As the man speaks, cracks of gunfire can be heard in the background, apparently meant to suggest that he is in Baghouz.

GOP Senator Gets Big Win After Months-Long Stand-Off with Schumer

“Crusaders’ warplanes” and “Kurdish atheists” are attacking his people, the man says. The recording’s authenticity couldn’t be independently verified.

U.S.-backed forces resumed their offensive against the Islamic State group on Sunday night after thousands of civilians and hundreds of fighters left the last sliver held by the extremists. Since then, 38 militants and three SDF fighters have been killed, according to SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali.

The capture of Baghouz would be a milestone in the devastating four-year campaign to defeat IS’s so-called “caliphate,” which once covered a vast territory straddling both Syria and Iraq.

Bali said Tuesday that some IS fighters and their families emerged from the besieged area without saying how many. This is the first batch of people to leave Baghouz since the SDF began an offensive over the weekend. Another official, Adnan Afrin, said a large number of fighters were among the evacuees.

Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said some 350 people had left the IS-held area Tuesday, including 120 IS fighters. The group said those who left included citizens of Lebanon and Morocco.

On the ground, commanders say they have been hindered by IS sniper fire but are relying more on airstrikes and heavy weaponry, rather than ground forces, to push IS to surrender.

Argish al-Deiri, an SDF commander in Baghouz who identified himself by his nom de guerre, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his men advanced overnight and secured some positions on the edge of a tent settlement where IS militants are making their last stand.

“We entered the camp, then stopped,” he said. “There was resistance, and we withdrew. The planes struck the ammunition depot,” setting off explosions that halted the push.

Al-Deiri said IS militants were fighting back with heavy weapons, rifles and sniper fire, forcing SDF fighters to slow their advance rather than advancing quickly so that “you don’t lose your men.”

Biden Administration Set to Give Even More Foreigners Open Access to US - No Visa Needed!

He said he hoped the IS fighters will surrender in the coming “few days.”


Youssef reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City