The head of the extremist Islamic State group has said it will fight to the last man.

The comments by the militant group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, came in an audio statement, his first since a U.S.-led alliance began conducting airstrikes targeting the group in Iraq and Syria.

In the statement, released Thursday on social media networks, he says his fighters "will never leave fighting, even if only one soldier remains."

The recording appeared authentic, and his voice appeared to correspond with previous recordings released by the group.

Al-Baghdadi's statement came after rumors that he was wounded in an airstrike. It was not clear whether the recording was made before or after the incident.