A new issue of ISIS’ weekly newsletter brushed off their massive territorial losses in Iraq and Syria, declaring that the Islamic State had passed through the “beginning stage” and predicted that the “universal kaffir [disbelievers] alliance” would disintegrate before ISIS does.
Brett McGurk, who has served the past two years as the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, said Tuesday that the terror group “is down, really, to its last 10 percent of territory.”
ISIS propaganda has largely ignored the recent liberation of Raqqa, their proclaimed capital in Syria, at the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Their daily photo reports and videos have instead focused on battles in areas including other parts of Syria and the Sinai, where nearly two weeks ago ISIS claimed to have launched two rockets into Israel.
The latest al-Naba, a 16-page newsletter distributed in ISIS territory and online as a PDF, recounts how ISIS was able to launch their state in the first place in “many cities” across Syria and Iraq and gain allegiance from “the faithful believers … in other regions.”
Today, they insisted, the Islamic State “is stronger than it was at the first stage” because they have “generations ready to fight.” ISIS has placed heavy emphasis on training young children, or “cubs,” often featuring kids in grisly videos that have showed young boys beheading or shooting prisoners.
The editorial called upon the “true believer” to act regardless of “whatever is lost” and “fight the infidels wherever they are, everywhere they are.”
Because of “the firm foundation on which this state was founded,” they added, “…we say that the results that our enemies see in the near term are not what we see.”
ISIS predicted that the global coalition — representatives from 75 countries, as well as NATO and the European Union, met outside D.C. on Tuesday to discuss the next steps fighting ISIS and other extremist groups — would crumble.
“Their parties will disintegrate and the Islamic State will continue in its project as it was,” the terror group concluded. “A stage, going on in its struggle and tormenting the enemies of Allah, the criminals, until the promise of Allah is fulfilled.”
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters Thursday that “as we destroy ISIS and the caliphate there’s also going to be follow-on activities” that require a unified response from the global coalition.
“What we seek to do is even as we crush and complete the end of the core caliphate, it’s important to remove the connective tissue that — the other spots across the globe,” added Joint Staff director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. “And all of this is designed in concert with other elements of other governments. It’s not only a military effort. It’s got to be much broader than that. It’s designed to work a strategy that will take us to that point.”
Al-Naba dedicated much of their news briefs page to the conflict between the Iraqi government and the Kurds over the Kurdish independence referendum.
McKenzie stressed that the U.S. government believes “a unified Iraq’s the only way to go forward” as “our focus is to defeat ISIS.”