DAESH builds network of tunnels under Iraqi town

Footage obtained by AP shows network of tunnels built by DAESH under Iraqi northeastern city of Sinjar

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

screenshot of a footage obtaiined by AP shows tunnel digged by DAESH in Iraqi city of Sinjar

A video obtained by the Associated Press shows a network of tunnels under the Iraqi northeastern city of Sinjar that were built by DAESH militants. These tunnels were used by the militants before they were forced out of the city a month ago.

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces took over the city of Sinjar in November after being captured by DAESH in August 2014.

The 30 to 40 tunnels were reported to have been prepared for residence with sleeping quarters, fortified with sandbags and wired with electricity.

"We found between 30 and 40 tunnels inside Sinjar," said Shamo Eado, a commander from Peshmerga "It was like a network inside the city."

The footage, shot by a freelancer touring the town with Kurdish militants, shows boxes of US made ammunition, medicine and other things of the like that belonged to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. 

"DAESH dug these trenches in order to hide from air strikes and have free movement underground as well as to store weapons and explosives," he added.

"This was their military arsenal."

The narrow tunnels, apparently carved with jackhammers or other handheld equipment, each starting and ending from houses, through holes knocked in walls or floors.

The tunnels were used by DAESH to hide and move freely within the territory under their control in Iraq and Syria. They started digging the tunnels before the US-led coalition launched the airstrikes against the group in September last year. 

DAESH had killed and captured thousands of of Sinjar’s Yazidis who make the majority of the city residents. DAESH considers Yazidis, a religious minority in Iraq, to be heretics. Hundreds of Yazidi women are believed to be held hostages by the group. 

An estimated 50,000 Yazidis fled the area to escape persecution by DAESH, while many remained stranded on Mount Sinjar, depending on US airdrops for supplies.


TRTWorld and agencies