Al-Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group battling the Syrian regime...
- April 9, 2013: Al-Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group battling the Syrian regime, belongs to his Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and is fighting for an Islamic state in Syria.
A day later, Al-Nusra pledges allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, distancing itself from Baghdadi. In early 2014 Al-Qaeda disavows ISIL completely.
- January 14, 2014: ISIL conquers Raqa city in northern Syria after fierce fighting with rival rebels. Raqa, the first provincial capital to fall entirely from regime hands, becomes the jihadists' Syrian stronghold.
- June 10, 2014: ISIL launches a lightning offensive in northwestern Iraq, seizing second city Mosul and sweeping across Sunni Arab areas bordering the autonomous Kurdistan region. Tens of thousands of Christians and Yazidis flee.
- June 29, 2014: ISIL declares a "caliphate" in territories it has seized in Iraq and Syria.
It rebrands itself the Islamic State (IS) and declares its chief Baghdadi "caliph" and "leader for Muslims everywhere".
- August 8, 2014: US warplanes strike IS positions in northern Iraq in response to an appeal from the Iraqi government. In September an international coalition is formed to defeat the group.
- September 23: The US and Arab allies launch air strikes on IS in Syria.
- March 31, 2015: Iraq announces the "liberation" of Tikrit, 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Baghdad. IS had controlled Tikrit for nearly 10 months.
- February 9, 2016: Sunni-majority Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, is recaptured from the jihadists, who had overrun it the previous May.
- June 26: Iraqi forces recapture Fallujah after two and a half years beyond government control.
- January 26, 2015: IS is driven out of the Syrian border town of Kobane after more than four months of fighting led by Kurdish forces backed by coalition air strikes.
- August 6, 2016: The Syrian Democratic Forces coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters backed by US air strikes recaptures the northern Syrian town of Manbij.
- August 24: Turkish troops and Syrian rebels retake the border town of Jarabulus, during Operation Euphrates Shield, which also targets Kurdish militia.
- February 24, 2017: The Turkish army announces that it has taken full control of the northern town of Al-Bab, the IS last bastion in Aleppo province.
- March 2: Syrian troops backed by Russian jets complete the recapture of the historic city of Palmyra from the IS. The city had previously changed hands several times.
- October 17, 2016: Some 30,000 Iraqi forces backed by US-led air support launch a vast operation to retake Mosul.
Three months later they retake the east side of the city and turn their attention to the west.
June 29:, 2017 Iraq announces it has recaptured the iconic Nuri mosque in Mosul's Old City. The Iraqi premier calls it a sign of IS's impending defeat.
June 30: A senior Iraqi commander says Iraq will declare the liberation of Mosul in the "next few days."
July 9: Abadi declares victory in the "liberated" city of Mosul after days of fierce fighting during which Iraqi forces battled to retake the last two IS-held areas near the Tigris River.
- November 5, 2016: The SDF launches an operation to capture Raqa.
- June 6, 2017: The SDF enters Raqa, seizing a quarter of the city and cutting off the last IS escape route by the end of the month.
- July 2: SDF fighters pierce Raqa from the south for the first time.
- July 4: US Central Command says SDF forces have penetrated the wall surrounding Raqa's Old City where a few hundred diehard jihadists are making a last stand.