Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi, ISIS spokesperson released an audio tape on January 27, which is essentially the first speech by the ISIS leadership since the assassination of Al-Baghdadi by the United States. (In the context of Al-Baghdadi’s assassination, see our article “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi-the elimination of the common denominator“).
Al-Qurashi states that ISIS launched a new phase against Israel and called on the caliphate soldiers in Syria and Sinai to launch rocket attacks against Israel, including rockets armed with chemical weapons. He also called for the conquer of Israeli communities.
In addition, he mocks the US that declared victory against ISIS prematurely.
Al- Qurashi claims that not only was ISIS not defeated it actually expanded worldwide.
As mentioned in our recently published article (ISIS Khuran is still here!) … in order to strengthen their sense of confidence and ability, ISIS will declare direct intentions against Israel. It was for a good reason the words “Israel” and “Jerusalem” were mentioning throughout the speech.
The speech appears to be a clear and direct order from ISIS leadership to the provinces (Khuran and Sinai) to take action against Israel.
The likelihood of a rocket fire from Sinai province is higher, since ISIS has proven such an ability, as opposed to the Khuran province in Syria, which today will find it difficult to produce such a capability. However, the Khuran District has the potential ability to penetrate Israel’s territory by means of a ground incursion.
Contrary Al- Qurashi’s statement, we highly estimate that ISIS has no chemical weapons.
In our view, the direct threat to Israel constitutes a step up on ISIS’s part, aiming to strengthen its status in the eyes of its supporters and to keep its activists motivated.