ISIS militants declare Islamic ‘Caliphate’ in Iraq, Syria

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL), a Sunni jihadist group, on Sunday declared the establishment of a “Caliphate” or Islamic state, spanning parts of both Iraq and Syria with the group’s leader as the ruling “Caliph”.

The group, known for its ruthless tactics and systemic abuses during its involvement in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria where it has captured vast swathes of territory, also announced it was renaming itself the “Islamic State” and called on jihadi factions worldwide to pledge allegiance to it.

The Caliphate would be imposed on areas the group controls in Iraq and Syria with its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the Caliph, or head of state, and “leader for Muslims everywhere”, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani said in an audio recording distributed online.

“The Shura (council) of the Islamic State met and discussed this issue (of the Caliphate)… The Islamic State decided to establish an Islamic Caliphate and to designate a Caliph for the state of the Muslims,” he said.

“The jihadist cleric Baghdadi was designated the Caliph of the Muslims,” said Adnani, adding that the Caliphate will extend “from Aleppo (in northern Syria) to Diyala” in Iraq.

The part of the group’s name referring to Iraq and Syria has been removed in official papers and documents, Adnani said, describing the Caliphate as “the dream in all the Muslims’ hearts” and “the hope of all jihadists”.

Full article: ISIS militants declare Islamic ‘Caliphate’ in Iraq, Syria (France 24)

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