On 29 June 2014, Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the formation of a caliphate stretching from Mosul in Iraq to Raqqa in Syria.
Six years after the defeat of IS at the hands of a US-led global coalition, the threat of the terrorist group remains ever-present. Al Majalla covers the nine-year anniversary of the founding of the so-called 'caliphate' by providing extensive analysis and on-the-ground reporting from Syria to Iraq.
Shelly Kittleson reports from Mosul speaking to residents about how they are rebuilding their city and lives following the nightmare of living under the caliphate and also facing reprisals from Iraqi militias over their perceived loyalty to the group.
On his part, Rustum Mahmud visits the Al-Hol camp in Syria where he speaks to residents and administration officials about the festering threats that remain in the camp and the challenges that lie ahead in combating lingering IS ideology and organisation within the camp.
Meanwhile, Charles Lister takes a look at Arab normalisation efforts with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and how they do little to eliminate the drivers of instability in Syria which is a dream scenario for IS to continue recruiting followers.
And finally, Haid Haid pens an opinion piece looking at IS's ongoing extortion activities in Syria's northeast, particularly faced by Syrian farmers. He says that while the revenues are low compared to the height of IS operations between 2014-2017, the funds are enough to sustain their operations and even rebuild.