Al Qaeda's deputy leader says the Pakistani military sweep against the Taliban in the Swat Valley is doomed to failure and urges Pakistanis to support the militants.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a video posted on Islamic militant Web sites late Thursday, says a Pakistani offensive last spring -- code named "Path of Salvation" -- is "turning into the Path of Doom for the apostates."

He warns that anyone helping the military is against Islam and urges Pakistanis to "back the jihad (holy war) and mujahedeen" with fighters, money and support.

The Pakistani military says it regained control of Swat and surrounding areas, although fighting persists. The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed this month in a CIA missile strike.