|Iraq condemns ISIL declaration of caliphate||
Iraqi army spokesman Qassim Atta said on Monday that ISIL’s declaration of a caliphate in lands seized this month across Iraq and Syria is a message that the group has become a threat to all countries.
"This declaration is a message by [ISIL] not only to Iraq or Syria but to the region and the world. The message is that [ISIL] has become a threat to all countries," he said, Reuters reported.
"I believe all the countries, once they read the declaration will change their attitudes because it orders everybody to be loyal to it," he said.
Iraqi troops battled to dislodge an al-Qaeda splinter group from the city of Tikrit on Monday.
Alarming regional and world powers, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed universal authority when it dropped the local element in its name and said its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as leader of the Islamic State, was now caliph of the Muslim world - a mediaeval title last widely recognized in the Ottoman sultan deposed 90 years ago after World War One.
"He is the imam and caliph for Muslims everywhere," group spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in an online statement on Sunday, using titles that carry religious and civil power. The declaration came at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
The move, which follows a three-week drive for territory by ISIL militants and allies among Iraqi's Sunni Muslim minority, aims to erase international borders drawn by colonial powers and defy Baghdad's government.
It also poses a direct challenge to the global leadership of al-Qaeda, which has disowned it, and to conservative Persian Gulf Arab rulers who already view the group as a security threat.
The Iraqi government has appealed for international help and has accused neighbors, notably Saudi Arabia, of having fostered Islamist militancy in Syria and Iraq.
Fighters from the group overran the Iraqi city of Mosul on June 10 and have advanced toward Baghdad, prompting the dispatch of U.S. military advisers. In Syria, ISIL has captured territory in the north and east, along the desert frontier with Iraq.
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