In a new recording, a man purported to be Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is calling for "volcanoes of jihad" against more Arab states and says the United States will eventually be drawn into a deadly ground war against the group's fighters.
The 17-minute recording was released on social media networks Thursday by the Islamic State. While its authenticity could not be confirmed, the voice on the recording appeared to match Baghdadi's.
Iraqi authorities said several days ago that Baghdadi had been wounded in a U.S. airstrike last Friday that hit a convoy of Islamic State leaders near Fallujah, although the U.S. military never made a similar claim. It was not known whether the recording was made before or after that aerial attack.
In the recording, the speaker called on Islamic State fighters to "light the Earth with fire against all dictators." He called on the Islamic State, which has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, to extend their operations to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria.
The U.S. has launched hundreds of airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but President Barack Obama has rejected sending ground troops even as he has deployed 3,100 advisers to Iraq.
The audio recording said the U.S. soon will be forced to "send their ground forces to their deaths and destruction."