Isis declares an 'Islamic Caliphate' in Iraq and Syria

Isis militants battling government forces in both Iraq and Syria have declared an Islamic "Caliphate" in the swathes of territory it has captured in both countries.

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Iis) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa. Credit: Reuters

In a statement posted on jihadist websites, the al-Qaida offshoot known said they had changed their name from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant to 'Islamic State'. Its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is "Caliph" - the head of the state, the statement said.

the group's spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in the statement which was translated into several languages: "He is the imam and khalifah (Caliph) for the Muslims everywhere."

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Islamic State leader calls for jihad in audio message

The leader of the Islamic State, formerly Isis, has released the first audiotape calling for jihad since the group renamed. The group is currently battling Iraqi forces across large parts of the country.