A new video purportedly released by the Islamic State titled “Endure and Remain Stationed on Ribat” features audio from ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, telling his supporters to continue their cause despite recent territorial losses.
The video comes from “Wilayat al-Jazira,” Iraq. According to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, “Wilayat al-Jazira does not appear in the older [mas], when it’s territory was considered part of the northern wilayat of Ninawa.” Vulnerable cities that are currently considered part of the wilayat by ISIS include “Tal ‘Afar, Al-Ba’aj, Al-‘Ayadiyyah, Al-Mahlabiyyah, Sinjar, Wardiyyah, Sanuni, Khana Sor, Ibrat al-Saghira, Al-Badi, [and] Al-Qanat.”
The video’s main focus is the Islamic State theme of “ribat.”
According to the Foreign Military Studies Office, “The Islamic State (IS) has recently begun emphasizing defense. Specifically, the group’s propaganda of late has highlighted the concept of “Ribat,” meaning keeping watch over and safeguarding the border between the Islamic polity and hostile outside forces. Roughly speaking, the concept may be considered as the mirror image of the offensive jihad most commonly associated with the IS. In the contemporary jihadi understanding, Ribat takes place at what are called “thughur” or strategic chokepoints. While the IS is neither the first nor the only contemporary jihadi group to employ the concept, the prominence of Ribat in recent IS propaganda is noteworthy.”
However, despite its emphasis on defense, it may soon be all over for ISIS in Iraq.
Yesterday, Rudaw reported that the Islamic State no longer controls any Iraqi oil, making them have to search elsewhere for funds.
ISIS may also soon lose Mosul. According to The Guardian:
In Iraq, an assault on Mosul, which has previously been deemed too difficult, is now being seen as a reality for early next year. Iraqi forces that fled as the jihadists advanced have been reconfigured and galvanised. “Confidence has emerged from battlefield gains,” says a Baghdad-based US diplomat. “And while the Iraqis are feeling better about themselves, Isis is feeling worse. Everywhere they have tried to make a stand in recent times, they have been hosed out. They know it’s near the end.”
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