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ISIS leader al-Baghdadi admits group in retreat as losses mount worldwide

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KABUL — Days after “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi emerged from obscurity and admitted his group was in retreat, Afghan and coalition forces killed the leader of the ISIS branch in Afghanistan.

In a 55-minute message broadcast Wednesday (August 22) by ISIS’s media operations, al-Baghdadi acknowledged how ISIS is reeling following its military setbacks in the Middle East.

While he called on his followers not to abandon their “religion, patience or jihad”, in what appears to be a indication of the group’s defeat on the ground, al-Baghdadi declared that “the scale of victory or defeat for the mujahideen is not dependent on a city or town being stolen or subject to those who have aerial superiority”.