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2016, the year the IS 'caliphate' buckled

Iraqi soldiers check a cemetery where jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group were buried in FallujahMultiple ground assaults and a deluge of air strikes shrank the Islamic State group’s “caliphate” to a rump and decimated its fighters in 2016 but the organisation remains a potent threat. The jihadists have squandered close to half of the land they controlled in 2014 and many of their losses came this year, which saw major operations by myriad forces and countries. The loss of symbolic bastions such as Fallujah in Iraq or Dabiq in Syria dented IS’s aura, revealing it could not defend places it once vowed were impregnable and central to its own mythology.

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