Islamic State urges jihad on Russia, US as Syria strikes intensify

The Islamic State group called on Muslims Tuesday to wage jihad on Russia and the United States, as Moscow announced it had intensified its air campaign against Islamic militants in Syria.

AFP| Updated: Oct 14, 2015, 10:26 AM IST
Islamic State urges jihad on Russia, US as Syria strikes intensify

Beirut: The Islamic State group called on Muslims Tuesday to wage jihad on Russia and the United States, as Moscow announced it had intensified its air campaign against Islamic militants in Syria.

The call came as Russian President Vladimir Putin criticised Washington for refusing to cooperate with Moscow in its Syrian campaign, which is having an increasingly dramatic effect.

"Russia will be defeated," IS spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani said in a recording posted online, calling on "Muslims everywhere to launch jihad against the Russians and the Americans", who it said were waging "a crusader war against Muslims".

IS seeks not only to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but is also vying with Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front for jihadist supremacy in the country.

Al-Nusra chief Abu Mohamed al-Jolani also threatened Moscow, saying its air war would have dire consequences.

"If the Russian army kills the people of Syria, then kill their people," he said late Monday in a call to jihadists in the Caucasus. "And if they kill our soldiers, then kill their soldiers. An eye for an eye."

"The war in Syria will make the Russians forget the horrors that they found in Afghanistan," Jolani said, referring to the disastrous Soviet attempt to subdue the country in the 1980s.

Russia said Tuesday its air force had hit 86 "terrorist" targets in Syria in the past 24 hours -- the highest one-day tally since it launched its bombing campaign on September 30.

Among them, it said, were several IS targets.