ISIS leader Baghdadi 'hiding in Mosul' as Iraqi forces reach city
Los angeles : In a significant message to fighters, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asked his men to resist Iraqi forces that were poised to enter the city of Mosul. He declared a "caliphate" in Mosul two years ago.
In a voice recording released on Thursday by the IS-affiliated Al-Furqan media, the leader of Islamic State said, "Do not retreat. Holding your ground with honour is a thousand times easier than retreating in shame. To all the people of Nineveh, especially the fighters, beware of any weakness in facing your enemy."
It has been rumored lately that the Iraqi militant leader's health is not in right condition; his whereabouts are still unclear.
Earlier, he made an appearance in June 2014 when he announced the creation of an Islamic "state" straddling Iraq and Syria.
According to US-led coalition estimates there are nearly 3000 to 5000 fighters inside the city. The "caliphate" has been shrinking steadily since last year and Iraqi forces earlier this week reached Mosul, the group's last major stronghold in Iraq.
The US-led coalition estimates there are 3,000 to 5,000 IS fighters inside the city but the final outcome of the battle appears to be in little doubt.
Tens of thousands of Iraqi forces, backed by the US-led coalition and its warplanes, launched a massive offensive on Mosul on October 17.