An ISIS-linked group declared that “the flames of war” will “come to America” following U.S. withdrawal from Syria in the same way that ISIS’ power was ignited by President Obama deciding to pull U.S. forces from Iraq.
The eight-minute video, “It’s Still Burning,” was released online by al-Asawirti Media, which has produced films in support of ISIS since the caliphate was declared in 2014.
Intoning “Remember” over and over, the video begins with President Trump declaring in a White House video that “we have won against ISIS.”
“They have anticipated they can’t fight against us forever,” the video states, proceeding to show a clip of Obama declaring U.S. troops would come home from Iraq. “They keep repeating the same self-defeating behaviors,” the video text adds.
“We tell the Americans, the protectors of the Jews and the Crusader protector, whether you withdrew or not our victory is in our continuation,” a narrator says over footage of ISIS battlefield scenes. “Even if you withdraw, you will return soon. If you cannot turn back, we will invade you from everywhere and you will hear our footsteps on the ground. The fighting has just begun and we are confident of victory from Allah.” ISIS won’t stop, the narrator vows, until jihadists can “pray in Rome.”
The video uses recent clips of pundits and commentators, including former supreme allied commander in Europe retired Adm. James Stavridis and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
It also twice uses clips of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) slamming the decision to withdraw from Syria. “If you’re tired of fighting radical Islam, I understand it — they’re not tired of fighting you,” Graham tells reporters in one clip.
The other clip shows Graham calling the Syria pullout “an Obama-like decision — I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.”
With the theme of flames woven throughout the video, the White House is depicted as on fire and eventually exploding.
“When Obama announced American flight from Iraq, the fire of our war was just burning in Iraq — but today the flames of war are still burning in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sinai, East Africa and Libya etc. And America announced again the escape from combat. And in sha Allah will soon the flames of war come to America,” text onscreen stated over a map of regional hot spots.
The video directly threatens the United States, depicting the country ringed in fire and warning, “Remember: It’s only a matter of time before the flames of war burn you.”
“The Flames of War” were a pair of key propaganda films released by official ISIS media, beginning with the first video in September 2014. Just over a year ago, ISIS released “Flames of War II: Until the Final Hour,” narrated by an American-accented jihadist who has voiced other ISIS productions.
That ISIS film used footage of Trump saying at a campaign rally in November 2015 that he would “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and interspersed Trump clips with bloody video clips purportedly from residential areas hit by U.S. airstrikes. The video also showed Trump using the words “radical Islamic terrorism” in his address to Congress.
ISIS claimed that jihad had entered “a new phase: purification for the believers, destruction for the disbelievers,” and wrote off defeats as “purifying the camp of the believers with a real shake and removing the mask of the pretenders, the blamers and the abandoners.”