On February 15, the Islamic State in Al-Barakah Province released a video warning its fighters not to flee the battlefield and stressing the severe punishments that Allah has prepared for deserters in the hereafter. In the video, titled "And Remind [Them] 4" and posted on multiple pro-ISIS Twitter accounts and Telegram channels, the group encouraged its fighters to be steadfast and urged them to seek martyrdom instead of fleeing. The video stressed that Islam is "a religion of glory and honor, which does not allow its followers to be humiliated or disrespected."
Following is a transcript:
[Footage of ISIS fighters in battle]
Narrator: The wrath of Allah and the Hellfire. This is what Allah has in store for whoever flees the battlefield. Allah made it clear that fleeing the battlefield is prohibited, with the exception of two cases: swerving [as a tactic] or joining another group. The Prophet considered leaving the battlefield to be among the seven most destructive sins, as this would negatively affect the rest of the fighters in the battle. It would disappoint them and encourage disunity, weakness, and defeatism.
Islam is a religion of glory and honor, which does not allow its followers to be humiliated or disrespected. A Muslim is committed to seeking martyrdom for the sake of Allah, which is his ultimate goal. So how could he flee a loathsome, despicable infidel?
Abu Amamah Al-Maghribi: Oh brothers, the greatest tragedy this nation suffered was the death of the Prophet. So losing territory it is not the worst tragedy. A tragedy would be to abandon the religion.
Narrator: Remain steadfast, oh soldiers of the Islamic State. Remain steadfast like the brothers who have come before you. You should [prefer] to die a thousand times, but never think of retreating or fleeing. Do not resort to weakness, which is loving life and despising death. Cleanse your hearts of [the love of] this world, for you are meant for hardship, epic battles, and steadfastness. By your hand, Allah will conquer, for victory requires an hour of steadfastness.