Kurdish peshmerga forces uncovered a vast network of tunnels buried deep beneath the Iraqi city of Sinjar, which Kurds recaptured from the Islamic State last month.
Islamic State militants dug more than 70 tunnels throughout the city. The tunnels were used to plot against Kurdish forces without being detected, and were wired with electricity and fortified with sandbags to help protect against airstrikes.
Wais Faiq, head of the Sinjar town council, told Reuters that ISIS dug so many tunnels “that they completely destroyed the infrastructure of Sinjar.”
He added that “There is a tunnel under every alley, street, and public building that remains intact. This is clear evidence the terrorist Daesh (Islamic State) group is aware of Sinjar’s geographical importance as it can link Raqqa to Iraq, and for that reason they kept a tight grip on Sinjar.”
The jihadists left many of their supplies, such as ammunition and medicine, behind. Kurds even found more than 90 bombs in one tunnel.
Before the outbreak of war in Sinjar more than a year ago, about 200,000 people lived in and around the city. It’s now mostly deserted.
Story by Allan Smith and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss
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