The jihadists who have been putting fear into Iraqi government forces assigned to stabilize their nation have announced “The March” to Baghdad, promising those who stand in their way should know “tragedies will befall you in the coming days, Allah willing.”
The report comes from the Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors, interprets and analyzes media statements from the Middle East.
According to MEMRI, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS and described as more fearsome and violent than al-Qaida, issued a statement after two recent suicide bombings, a car bomb that targeted police forces and another hitting soldiers in Sadr City.
“We say to the [government] and its parties, militias and security apparatuses: be aware that tragedies will befall you in the coming days, Allah willing.”
The statement said: “Following the recent victories that Allah granted ISIS, and the arrival of additional manpower, funds, weapons and military vehicles of all kinds, your brothers in the Baghdad province – may Allah liberate it – in coordination with other provinces, announce the initiation of a new campaign that we have called ‘The March.’ The heroes of battle and raging lions already carried out the first surge of this campaign when two knights of Islam (suicide bombers) set out to demolish two strongholds of the … government and its lackeys.”
MEMRI reported an ISIS audio message from spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani boasting that the world has been astounded by the ISIS victories.
And he calls for more violence.
“Proceed with your jihad. … Proceed to meet your lord. … Show no softness toward your enemies, although Allah has consigned them to you. Continue your forward march, since the true battle hasn’t yet begun. It will rage in Baghdad and Karbala, so put on your [suicide] belts, and get ready, get ready,” the report quotes al-Adnani saying.
The targets appear to be dissenting Muslims as well as others.
According to MEMRI, Al-Adnani urges his men to follow in slain ISIS leader Adnan Ismail Najam al-Bilawi’s foosteps and “not relinquish an inch you have liberated.”
“The [Shiites] shall not set foot in those areas again, unless it will be over your bodies … March toward Baghdad … since we still have a score to settle there. Wake [Baghdad’s residents] in the morning by [storming] its walls, do not let them catch their breath, and be confident of victory from Allah.”
Just a day earlier, ISIS announced its conquering of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The organization released a communiqué saying its goal was to purge the region of “apostates.”
“With Allah’s grace, [ISIS] gained control of [military] bases, among them the Ghazlani headquarters, the command center, the headquarters of the second division, the Badoush and Tasfirat prisons, and the headquarters of the brigades and their battalions. … All the province’s external and internal entryways have been taken over.”
ISIS, which has been described as more blood-thirsty than even al-Qaida, has been on a rampage across Iraq in the vacuum left behind by the removal of American troops.
After its takeover of Nineveh Province, ISIS issued a code of conduct Thursday, inviting Muslims “to live in bliss under a just peaceful Islamic rule, in a world where Muslims have power.”
“ISIS promises that, from now on, under the rule of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, they will find themselves blessed with a new kind of regime – a kind and beneficial one, which will end their suffering,” MEMRI reported.
President Obama said Friday he was pursuing diplomatic options, insisting that any military actions would need to include a political resolution to the conflict.