District of Columbia: The Islamic State group`s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is losing the ability to keep control of his troops as the battle for Mosul rages on, a US military official said Thursday.
IS earlier released an audio message purportedly of Baghdadi, in which he urged his jihadi followers not retreat as Iraqi security forces continue their push toward Mosul.
Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led coalition attacking IS in Iraq and Syria, said the military had not officially verified the authenticity of the recording but noted it was "clearly" an effort for IS to communicate with fighters.
"One of the interesting things that we have seen in the English translation of this is that Baghdadi is saying, `Don`t fight amongst yourselves,`" Dorrian told reporters.
"This is the type of thing that a leader who is losing command and control and ability to keep everybody on the same page says. We don`t believe it is going to work."
Rumors have abounded about the Iraqi jihadist leader`s health and movements but his whereabouts are unclear.
In June 2014, days after jihadist fighters swept across swaths of Iraq, he made a rare public appearance in Mosul and announced the creation of an Islamic "state" straddling Iraq and Syria.
The "caliphate" has been shrinking steadily since last year and Iraqi forces earlier this week reached Mosul, the jihadists` last major stronghold in Iraq.