A spokesperson for the Islamic State (IS) recently declared the U.S. led airstrikes in Syria are failing as reports surfaced Wednesday that seven men and three women were beheaded by the terrorist group.
On Tuesday, a Syrian ISIS fighter spoke with CNN under the alias Abu Talha, taunting the U.S. led coalition which is currently attempting to defeat the militants.
"We've been ready for this for some time," said Talha. "We know that our bases are known because they're tracking us with radars and satellites, so we had backup locations."
The 28-year-old ISIS fighter said that the airstrikes against ISIS targets, including mobile oil refineries and vehicles, will not stop ISIS.
"We have revenues other than oil. We have other avenues, and our finances are not going to stop just because of oil losses," he asserted. "They thought they knew everything. But thank God, they don't know anything. And God willing, we will defeat the infidels."
"They hit us in some areas, and we advance in others," Talha added, noting that the airstrikes will not be enough to stop the advance of ISIS in the Sunni parts of Iraq and Syria. "If we are pushed back in Iraq, we advance in northern Syria. These strikes cannot stop us, our support or our fighters."
The ISIS fighter's comments come shortly before reports surfaced that five anti-Islamic State Kurdish fighters, including three women, were detained and beheaded 8 miles west of Kobani, a Kurdish town besieged by ISIS near the Turkish border.
"I don't know why they were arrested or beheaded. Only the Islamic State knows why. They want to scare people," head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman, told Reuters.
Earlier this year, two Americans and one Briton were beheaded by ISIS as a warning to Western powers that any violent or non-violent dissent will not be tolerated.
On Sunday, President Obama admitted that the U.S. government had vastly underestimated ISIS's threat and overestimated the capacity of the Kurdish fighters to defeat them.
"That's true. That's absolutely true," said Obama when questioned on how the U.S. assessed the terror group.
"Jim Clapper has acknowledged that. I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," he noted.
"Essentially what happened with ISIL was that you had al-Qaida in Iraq, which was a vicious group, but our Marines were able to quash with the help of Sunni tribes," Obama continued. "They went back underground, but over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you had huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos."
Obama reiterated the disturbing reality that ISIS has been able to "attract foreign fighters who believed in their jihadist nonsense and traveled everywhere from Europe to the United States to Australia to other parts of the Muslim world, converging on Syria." As a result, Syria "became ground zero for jihadists around the world."
A previous ISIS member, speaking to CNN under the name Abu Omar, backed Talha's claim that the militant group was prepared for the airstrikes.
"They almost entirely emptied out the headquarters," said Omar. "Some equipment they hid in civilian neighborhoods. Some they hid underground."
He added that ISIS members who join from Western countries are far more brutal than those from the Middle East.
"The French, they have so much control. They're even more extreme than we are. They come from France, but it's as if they have been part of the 'Islamic State' for years," said the 29-year-old ISIS defector.
He explained that he had abandoned his wife and 3-year-old son to fight for ISIS, but soon became disillusioned by the group's brutality.
"I used to hope that they would fix their mistakes," he said. "If they had, it wouldn't be like this."