HT Explains | A year after declaring caliphate, just how strong has Islamic State grown?
On June 29, 2014, the IS announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. A year on, just how entrenched in the region is the militant outfit? The 12 months have been mixed for the extremists. It's been heavily targeted by US-led air strikes and in January this year, it was pushed out of the Syrian border town of Kobane by Peshmerga fighters. In April Iraqi forces retook Tikrit, their biggest gain yet against the IS group. But in May the militants seized both Ramadi in Iraq and the historic Syrian desert city of Palmyra.