The Islamic State (IS) released a new audio speech from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he rallied his forces, condemned coalition intervention in Syria, and called for further recruitment of fighters.
Sometime over a year ago, a teenage American girl using the pseudonym "Grape" posted in response to a question on Ask.fm:
In the last 24 hours, five audio messages pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were released on behalf of jihadist groups from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria. Among those to pledge was the Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqd (also known as Ansar Jerusalem), along with unidentified collectives of fighters representing different countries and regions: “Mujahidin of the Arabian Peninsula,” “Mujahidin of Libya” and “Mujahidin of Yemen.” However, a closer look into these pledges raises questions regarding their authenticity and the underlying intentions of IS with their release.
Fighters and civilians on the ground in Syria have begun voicing condemnation upon a wave of US airstrikes on November 6 targeting the Khorasan Group. Jihadist, Islamist, and other rebel groups and supporters alike have taken to condemning the airstrikes as attacks on the Syrian people and their fight against the regime.
The recent defeats of two US-backed rebel groups in Syria—Harakat al-Hazm, the US's largest recipient of support, and the Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF) —by al-Qaeda's (AQ) Syrian affiliate, al-Nusra Front, delivered a major blow to the US-led coalition's fight against extremists in the country. Resulting from these attacks was the surrender of weapons and checkpoints to the group. Perhaps worse than the losses themselves, however, was the ultimate victory of al-Nusra Front, who will gain not only land and weapons from the battle, but also further support among Syrians—something that the US and its allies have yet to obtain.