ISIL Chief Baghdadi Says Airstrikes Toughen Group: Audio Recording

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A new message purporting to come from the head of ISIL said airstrikes by Russia and a US-led coalition had failed to weaken the group.

ISIL Chief Baghdadi Says Airstrikes Toughen Group: Audio Recording

"Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets," said the audio recording, described as by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The authenticity of the message, posted on Saturday on Twitter accounts that have published ISIL statements in the past, could not be verified by Reuters.

It slammed Saudi Arabia's  alleged efforts to set up a so-called coalition of "Muslim" nations to fight his group.

"If it was an Islamic coalition, it would have declared itself free from its Jewish and Crusader lords and made the killing the Jews and the liberation of Palestine its goal," the message said.

The militant group controls swathes of Iraq and Syria but has come under intensifying military pressure in recent weeks.

Syrian Kurds and Arab groups, backed by US coalition planes, said it captured a Syrian dam on Saturday from ISIL, cutting a main supply route of the militants across the Euphrates.

In Iraq, government troops were pushing deeper into the heart of the last remaining district held by ISIL in the city of Ramadi.

The last such online public message said to be by Baghdadi was posted in May. He has been reported injured or killed several times in fighting, apparently incorrectly.

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