Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria march in Raqqa, Syria, in this January 2014 photo. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)
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A powerful jihadist group known for its ruthless tactics and systemic abuses in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts announced Sunday the establishment of a "caliphate", or Islamist state.In an audio recording distributed online, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) declared its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "the caliph" and "leader for Muslims everywhere". After the first four caliphs who succeeded Mohammad, the caliphate lived its golden age in the Omayyad empire from the year 661 to 750, and then under the Abbasids, from 750 to 1517 .In Syria, ISIS' fighters control large swaths of territory in Deir al-Zor near the Iraq border, Raqa in the north, as well as parts of neighbouring Aleppo province.
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