By the "standards of this world," Daesh may seem to have been defeated, says a militant who identifies himself as Abu Abdul-Azim in the video, according to AP. "If we used to hold thousands of kilometers and now only a few kilometers remain, it is said that we lost. That is by the standards of this world. But the standards of the other world and almighty God are different."
The video, posted recently on social media, shows images assumed to be in the city of Baghuz, a town on the Euphrates River that was once home to roughly 10,000 people. Now, however, it's become Daesh's last redoubt, assaulted on every side by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces, their allies the US Air Force and the Syrian Arab Army across the river.
Cracks of rifle fire can be heard in the video as Azim asks: "What is our crime? Why are we bombarded by warplanes? Why has the entire world of infidels come together to fight us?… It is because we wanted to implement God's law."
"There is no group in the world that ruled by the Quran and Sunna except this select group," he continues, according to AP. "That is victory… So we are patient. Victory and endurance means sticking to what God almighty loves."
A second audio recording posted on social media Monday features a different speaker, who calls on Daesh supporters to "rise against the crusaders and… take revenge for your religion," claiming the group is being subjected to a "holocaust" by the US-led coalition.
Meanwhile, the SDF has carefully and painstakingly fought its way through sniper fire, booby traps and landmines laid throughout Baghuz and up to the edges of the last Daesh camp.
"We entered the camp, then stopped," an SDF commander known as Argish al-Deiri told AP Tuesday. "There was resistance, and we withdrew. The planes struck the ammunition depot," setting off explosions that halted the push.
Another SDF commander, Abu Ali, told The National, "We expect there to be from 1,000 to 1,500 terrorists inside" the Daesh camp.
However, the group does retain many supporters in the core cities it once controlled across northern Iraq and eastern Syria, and thousands of militants are believed to have filtered their way out of the warzone by hiding among the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the battle.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that at least 3,200 of the 37,000 refugees that has passed through SDF processing centers in Deir ez-Zor province have been militants, and the SDF has several hundred Daesh fighters in captivity, Sputnik reported.
"They are attempting to escape through intermixing with the innocent women and children attempting to flee the fighting," SDF deputy commander Major General Christopher Ghika told AFP last month.
According to SOfHR, the SDF recently arrested at least 48 suspected members of Daesh in Raqqa, a city that served as the de facto Daesh capital at the height of the proto-state's power several years ago.