New Daesh video shows constuction of intricate tunnel network

Published August 8th, 2016 - 02:18 GMT
Iraqi soldiers hold a position on the frontline on the outskirts of the Kurdish-controlled area of Makhmur, some 60 kilometres (35 miles) south of Mosul, on July 17, 2016 (AFP/Safin Hamed)
Iraqi soldiers hold a position on the frontline on the outskirts of the Kurdish-controlled area of Makhmur, some 60 kilometres (35 miles) south of Mosul, on July 17, 2016 (AFP/Safin Hamed)

Daesh has released a video showing their militants preparing for the potential siege of Mosul by constructing a series of underground tunnels.

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city, and has been at the heart of Daesh (ISIS)’s Iraq ‘caliphate’ since 2014. However, as the US-backed Iraqi army and Peshmerga (military of Iraqi Kurdistan) close in, Daesh have taken to building up their defense underground.  

In comparison to previous Daesh videos, which tend to play on a fierce persona of military aggression, this latest release is notably understated - depicting Daesh fighters steadily constructing the string of tunnels.

The militant group are well-known for their complex network of tunnels, which are intended to protect them from airstrikes and facilitate movement between houses.

In June, peshmerga forces discovered an underground tunnel built by Daesh east of Mosul. Peshmerga sources told Kurdistan24 that the tunnel was an estimated 500 meters long. Inside, they discovered bombs that were intended to detonate in different areas throughout the tunnel.

So far, the tunnels have proven vital in Daesh’s defense against the massive firepower of the US-led air coalition. However, as Kurdish and Iraqi government forces prepare for an offensive to drive Daesh from Mosul, it remains to be seen if the tunnels have the capacity to maintain Daesh’s grip over their largest city.

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