Islamic State chief Baghdadi admits defeat in Iraq, orders foreign fighters to either go back or self-detonate

The chief of Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has acknowledged the group's defeat in Iraq in a 'farewell speech' and ordered his non-Arab fighters to either return to their countries or detonate themselves, according to media reports.

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

Al-Baghdadi ordered the closure of the Islamic State office regulating their fighters and ordered non-Arab fighters to either return to their countries or detonate themselves. Baghdadi, who had declared himself as Caliph, issued a statement titled 'farewell speech' which was distributed among Islamic State preachers and clerics on Tuesday, as Iraqi army tightened noose around the group's last remaining territory in Mosul, Al-Arabiya reported, quoting Iraqi TV network Alsumaria.

Citing the sources in the Iraqi governorate of Nineveh, the report said Baghdadi ordered the closure of the Islamic State office regulating the group's fighters and asked the group's non-Arab fighters to either return to their countries or detonate themselves, promising them "72 women in heaven."

Baghdadi, who has reportedly been wounded multiple times, carries a $10 million bounty on his head. It is not clear if he is in the besieged city, where he declared his Caliphate in 2014 after the Islamic State seized territory covering much of eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

Many of Islamic State leaders in Iraq have now fled towards the area controlled by the group in neighbouring Syria, it added. Iraqi forces backed by international and US aid launched a massive operation to retake Mosul on 17 October. In January, they captured the eastern side of Mosul — the last Islamic State-held city in Iraq.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Mar 02, 2017 10:41 AM

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