The Atlantic Daily: Last Stand

The Atlantic Daily: Last StandWhat We’re Following Battle for Mosul: As Iraqi forces continued their advance toward the city, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, broke a 10-month silence to deliver a statement to his supporters. It was in many ways a familiar call to arms—and yet, with ISIS forced into retreat under cover of toxic clouds of smoke from oil fires, Baghdadi’s words reflected the high stakes of the battle. Graeme Wood unpacks the historical allusions in the speech to show how Baghdadi is urging his supporters to fight to the death.

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