23:40 GMT08 July 2020
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    A recent call for terrorist attacks and suicide bombings purportedly from Daesh leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi increases the already-elevated risk of attacks in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, private intelligence firm Soufan Group said in a report Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The report was based largely on an audio recording released Wednesday, allegedly from Baghdadi, the first such message in nearly a year. However, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting to retake the city of Mosul in Iraq from Daesh said the United States could not authenticate the recording as that of Baghdadi.

    “In the message, al-Baghdadi made specific calls for attacks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey,” the report stated. “The message also called for the group’s many would-be suicide bombers to strike wherever possible.

    Saudi Arabia has long been a highly symbolic target for Daesh, the report explained, and Turkey is a major player in the military campaigns to expel the terror group from Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa.

    With the loss of territory, Daesh “caliphate” would disappear, however terrorist attacks would allow Daesh to maintain a solid footing in the region, according to Soufan’s report.

    On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of a military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh with the help of airstrikes by the US-led international coalition. According to media reports, about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were initially taking part in the operation.


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    Daesh, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Mosul, Iraq
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