Isil defeated: how the Islamic State’s caliphate tried and failed to change history

The announcement of victory over the Islamic State group (Isil) by Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) marked the end of caliphate.

Isil’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, tried to change history with his Islamist militant movement. But unlike the prophets he claimed to descend from, his caliphate lasted less than five years and was the least successful of any of them.

At the moment, Al-Baghdadi is thought to be hiding in the desert somewhere in Iraq or Syria. Here Roland Oliphant analyses the rise and fall of the caliphate and the role of its leader.

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