Photo: IS media
BEIRUT,— The Islamic State group vowed to intensify its fight against the US-led coalition and Kurds in eastern Syria, in a video posted Sunday on its Telegram channel.
“The fire of the battle between us and them has been reignited and will intensify,” the jihadist group said, addressing what it called “soldiers of Islam” and residents of the caliphate.
IS took swathes of oil-rich land in Iraq and Syria in a lightning 2014 offensive.
The Kurdish forces expelled the Islamic State group from its last patch of territory in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz in March 2019.
But IS retains sleeper cells and has orchestrated a series of car bomb and arson attacks in eastern and northeastern Syria since its territorial defeat.
In Sunday’s video — the second since the fall of Baghouz — IS accused coalition countries of having entrapped its local adversaries, including the Kurds.
“They have been thrown into the flames of a fierce war that will leave them without tail or head,” IS warned.
The video includes decapitations and the shooting to death at close range of people presented as kidnapped Kurdish fighters.
IS released a video in late April — shortly after claiming deadly attacks in Sri Lanka — in which leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi purportedly appeared, pledging vengeance and a “long battle” ahead.
A US Defence Department report said this month that IS was “resurging” in Syria, while it had “solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq”.
Washington has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
President Donald Trump abruptly announced the pullout from Syria.
The Kurdish PYD and its powerful military wing YPG/YPJ considered the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and U.S.
has provided them with arms. The YPG, which is the backbone of the SDF forces, has seized swathes of Syria from Islamic State.
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