‘Tomorrow we'll be in paradise’: Islamic State followers speak from besieged enclave

Militants in eastern Syria make a new propaganda film calling on the few remaining residents to seek refuge in God

Reuters March 12, 2019
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

BEIRUT: Even as it faced imminent defeat in its last populated territory in eastern Syria, Islamic State made a new propaganda film calling on the few remaining residents of its cold, besieged encampment to maintain their prayers and seek refuge in God.

"Servants of God, keep reciting your prayers and ask for forgiveness," the loudspeaker of a beaten up van cries as it tours the ramshackle camp in the video. "Repent and ask God for forgiveness, oh servants of God, for perhaps the Almighty will find a way out for us."

The video's tone is a far cry from the militant group's earlier productions, which boasted of victories in taking over around a third of Syria and Iraq at its height in 2014 and summoned followers around the world to join a growing society.

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While acknowledging its military setbacks in the face of a global campaign against it, the militant organisation uses the new film to urge followers to maintain their faith in IS even in adversity.

The US backed Syrian Democratic Forces said on Tuesday
the assault to capture the besieged enclave of Baghouz, near the
Iraqi border, was as good as over.

"Tomorrow, God willing, we will be in paradise and they will
be burning in hell," said an Islamic State member whom the video
identified as Abu Abd al Azeem.

"The infidels laughed at, humiliated us in this world, but war has its ups and downs and the battle is not over," al Azeem said, adding that IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is the only Muslim leader on earth today.


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