The elusive chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has purportedly appeared for the first time in five years in a propaganda video released Monday by the jihadist organisation.
It is unclear when the footage was filmed, but the man said to be Baghdadi referred in the past tense to the months-long fight for Baghouz, IS’s final bastion in eastern Syria, which ended last month.
“The battle for Baghouz is over,” the man said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been blurred.
But he insisted that IS’s operations against the West were part of a “long battle,” and that IS would “take revenge” on members who had been killed.
“There will be more to come after this battle,” he said.
Baghdadi, 47, had a long grey beard that appeared dyed with henna and spoke slowly, often pausing for several seconds in the middle of his sentences.
He appeared for the first and last time in public in Mosul in 2014, where he declared an Islamic “caliphate” in the swathes of territory IS then held in Syria and Iraq.
He was reported killed or injured multiple times since then.
His last voice recording to his supporters was released in August, eight months after Iraq announced it had defeated IS and as US-backed forces closed in next door in Syria.
Trump unravels over Ukraine call in extensive thread– then blames Democrats
President Donald Trump continued to unravel over the call he had with Ukraine on July 25.
"This Scam going on right now by the Democrats against the Republican Party, and me, was all about a perfect phone call I had with the Ukrainian President. He’s already stated, NO PRESSURE! Where is the Whistleblower, or the 2nd Whistleblower, or the “informant?” All gone because their so-called story didn’t come even close to matching up with the exact transcript of the phone call. Was it a Corrupt Adam Schiff con? Why didn’t the IG see this? When do we depose Shifty Schiff to find out why he fraudulently made up my phone call and read this fiction to Congress and the American People? I demand his deposition. He is a fraud, just like the Russia Hoax was, and the Ukraine Hoax is now. When do the Do Nothing Democrats pay a price for what they are doing to our Country, & when do the Republicans finally fight back?"
Trump is furious over news coverage of Mick Mulvaney’s flub — and he’s growing ‘increasingly frustrated and agitated’
President Donald Trump is watching Mick Mulvaney going down on cable news, said one political analyst on CNN Sunday. The criticism of the chief of staff came after Trump spent the weekend watching media coverage of Mulvaney's flub, the network reported.
"Trump has voraciously consumed news coverage about Mulvaney and has become more agitated," the source said according to the report. "Specifically, the President is concerned, according to the source, that Mulvaney is not transitioning enough to the role he is in now -- helping to lead the impeachment inquiry defense from the West Wing."
Trump lashes out at Pelosi for going to Jordan to fix his Syria flub
President Donald Trump tweeted his anger about Speaker Nancey Pelosi (D-CA) taking a delegation of leaders to Jordan to meet with those working on Syria.
"Pelosi is now leading a delegation of 9, including Corrupt Adam Schiff, to Jordan to check out Syria. She should find out why Obama drew The Red Line In the Sand, & then did NOTHING, losing Syria & all respect. I did something, 58 missiles. One million died under Obama’s mistake!" Trump tweeted Sunday.
Vice President Mike Pence went to Turkey last week to attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, but what he ended up with was 120-hour freeze on bombing Kurds.