ISIS leader Baghdadi calls on all Muslims to "obey" him
ISIS has been in control of Syria's city of Raqqa since the beginning of this year (File Archive/AFP)
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The jihadist leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) released a statement Saturday ordering all Muslims to obey him, according to Agence France Presse.
Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, reportedly released a video through social media outlets Saturday telling Muslims, "I am the wali (leader) who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me. If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you."
The video statement represents the first ever official appearance of Baghdadi, according to AFP's expert source on Islamist movements, Aymenn Al Tamimi.Last Sunday, Baghdadi and ISIS declared the establishment of a renewed Islamic Caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, and officially changed their name to the Islamic State (IS).
However, many prominent jihadists as well as Islamist movements from Syria and elsewhere have rejected the so-called Islamic Caliphate established by Baghdadi and ISIS.
Baghdadi and ISIS have managed to seize territory in five of Iraq's provinces within the past month, including the city of Mosul in early June. ISIS now controls the majority of Syria's oil fields as well as a key Syria-Iraq border crossing in Qaim.