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U.S. and Iraqi forces kill two top leaders of Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq.The combined group is variously called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS; eventually it adopts the name the Islamic State.January 2014: Baghdadi's forces sweep into Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in Iraq's Anbar province, which Iraqi security forces had abandoned weeks earlier.April 1, 2015: Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Iraqi forces retake the city of Tikrit, their biggest gain yet against ISIS.May 17, 2015: Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province, falls to ISIS as Iraqi forces abandon their weapons and armored vehicles to flee.May 20, 2015: ISIS captures the historic desert city of Palmyra in central Syria after Assad's forces collapse and withdraw.
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