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ISIS Announces ‘New Phase’ of Operations Targeting Jewish State

In a nearly 40-minute audio recording whose authenticity has yet to be verified, a spokesman for Islamic State’s new leader called on “his mujahideen brothers in all provinces and Muslims across the world” to launch a “new phase” of operations that would focus primarily on attacks against Israel. The spokesman reportedly said that ISIS’s primary goal would now be “fighting the Jews and reclaiming what they have stolen from the Muslims,” an apparent reference to the existence of Israel on lands previously ruled by Islamic regimes, including as recently as the Ottoman Empire. The ISIS spokesman also called on followers to resist the “Trump [Middle East peace] plan,” slated for publication on Tuesday, by acting as the “warhead” against Israel. Earlier this month, the Britain-based Guardian newspaper identified ISIS’s new leader as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi. According to the report, Salbi was named chief in the immediate aftermath of October’s killing of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US military raid in northern Syria.