ISIS declares caliphate, claims to blow up prison full of soldie - Tucson News Now

ISIS declares caliphate, claims to blow up prison full of soldiers

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This comes amid conflicting reports of who is in control of Tikrit. (Source: CNN) This comes amid conflicting reports of who is in control of Tikrit. (Source: CNN)

BAGHDAD (CNN) - Increasingly bold Sunni militants are declaring an Islamic state that extends from Syria to Iraq, and they have changed the name of their group to reflect that declaration.

This comes amid conflicting reports of which faction is in control of Tikrit.

The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, released two messages on Sunday.

The first is a video message purporting to show imprisoned Iraqi security forces, before the militant, speaking directly to the camera in English, said that the makeshift prison is blown up and all those inside killed.

The group’s claims cannot be independently verified, but it does send a very chilling message to the thousands of volunteers who have been joining the Iraqi army.

The second is an audio recording that announced a name change and the establishment of a caliphate, one that they claim stretches from the north of Syria to the east of Iraq.

What makes this propaganda so powerful is that there is some truth to its claims. The group does have a territorial footprint across quite a wide swath of geography.

It's in the sky that the government has an upper hand, seen in their calling of air strikes into Mosul and to the south, where in as many days it has received two attacks on one of their main military command bases.

There has been so much claim and counter-claim from the very beginning of this conflict that it's very difficult to really get a sense of what is actually happening on the ground. Tikrit, to the north of Baghdad, is one such town that the Iraqi government and ISIS both claim.

All that is really known for sure is that the clashes continue.

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