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BAGHDAD: Pictures of smiling locals, tales of life-changing experiences, articles glorifying centuries of heritage and predicting a bright future: If the "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria had an airline, Dabiq would be its in-flight magazine.The 50-page magazine strives to convince its readers that the caliphate proclaimed last month by Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, the Al-Qaeda breakaway group, on an area twice the size of Israel, is the legitimate and viable home of the world's Muslims.Dabiq's first issue also sings the praise of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an ultraviolent military commander who headed ISIS's early incarnations before being slain in a 2006 U.S. airstrike, as a founding figure of the caliphate.The magazine's introduction explains that it is named after the site of a major 16th-century battle in what is now northern Syria that saw the Ottomans defeat the Mamluks and begin a major expansionist phase of an empire Baghdadi and his followers consider to have been the last caliphate.
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