Islamic State (ISIS) militants have released an audiotape they say was recorded by the group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, days after reports that he had been killed or injured.
In the recording, released via social media, the speaker says ISIS fighters will never stop fighting “even if only one soldier remains”.
Correspondents say the recording appears authentic and recent.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was said to have been caught in a US-led air strike near the Iraqi city of Mosul last week.
Thursday’s 17-minute recording makes no direct reference to that air strike, but does mention some developments that have occurred since then.
An English transcript of the recording was also released.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US-led coalition fighting ISIS was making progress, but must “prepare for a long and difficult struggle”.
The ISIS audiotape mentions President Barack’s Obama decision to deploy an extra 1,500 troops to Iraq – a move announced shortly after the air strike on Mosul.
The recording calls on ISIS supporters to “erupt volcanoes of jihad” across the world.
He disparages opponents of ISIS as “Jews, Crusaders, apostates… [and] devils”, and says the US and its allies “are terrified, weak and powerless”.
The recording also calls for attacks in Saudi Arabia – describing Saudi leaders as “the head of the snake” – and says that the US-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq is failing.
Gulf state rulers, who have joined the US-led coalition against IS, are described as “treacherous”.
The recording also refers to new pledges of allegiance from jihadist groups in Libya, Egypt and Yemen that occurred in recent days.
“O soldiers of the Islamic State… erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere. Light the earth with fire against all dictators,” the voice on the recording says.
In contrast to the audio messaging disparaging the coalition efforts, Chuck Hagel said US-led air strikes had helped in “degrading and destroying ISIL’s [ISIS] war fighting capacity and in denying safe haven to its fighters”.
“Directly and through support of Iraqi forces, coalition air strikes have hit ISIL’s command and control, its leadership, its revenue sources… and impaired its ability to amass forces,” he added.
The self-styled Islamic State – a jihadist group also known as ISIS, or ISIL – has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq since June, declaring a caliphate over territory it controls.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself is a shadowy figure who only showed himself publicly for the first time in a video released in July, when he delivered a sermon in Mosul, Iraq.
He claims lineage from the family and tribe of the Prophet Muhammad.
Although currently limited to Iraq and Syria, ISIS has promised to “break the borders” of Jordan and Lebanon and to “free Palestine”.
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