This shadowy group is assassinating ISIS members within its borders

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Iraqi Kurdish Forces Battle ISIS Near Mosul

It almost seems inevitable.

With such an oppressive regime and a weakening infrastructure, the organization that touts itself as the caliphate is facing growing dissent within its civilian populace.

And it looks like this gap is widening, especially after the efforts of a secret group called the Mosul Battalions.

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In Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and one of the few remaining ISIS bastions, this secret network has been causing disarray for ISIS members by carrying out assassinations and hit-and-run strikes against ISIS targets.

In a report by CNN, online video from the Mosul Battalion has shown the capture and assassinations of ISIS members and the bombings of the militant's checkpoints.

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17 PHOTOS
Battles with ISIS and conditions in Mosul
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Battles with ISIS and conditions in Mosul
A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer /File Photo
Kurdish Peshmerga forces sit in a military vehicle on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
A member of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces takes his position in a military vehicle on the southeast of Mosul , Iraq, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Kurdish Peshmerga forces ride on military vehicles on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
A fighter from the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), mans an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the rear of a vehicle in Mosul July 16, 2014. The banner on the bridge reads: "Welcome to the State of Nineveh; There is no God but God and Mohammad is the Messenger of God". REUTERS/Stringer /File Photo
Kurdish Peshmerga forces gather on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Kurdish Peshmerga forces ride on military vehicles on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Displaced people approach the Kurdish Peshmerga forces on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
MOSUL, IRAQ - AUGUST 23 : Iraqi people who fled from their villages due to Daesh attacks are seen at the Dibege refugee camp in Mahmour region of Mosul on August 23, 2016. (Photo by Yunus Keles/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An Iraqi man holds his national flag while civilians stand in the the street on August 24, 2016, as Iraqi forces took key position in the centre of Qayyarah, officials said, on the second day of an operation to recapture the northern town from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. Qayyarah lies on the western bank of the Tigris river, about 60 kilometres (35 miles) south of Mosul, the Islamic State group's last major urban stronghold in Iraq. / AFP / MAHMOUD SALEH (Photo credit should read MAHMOUD SALEH/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Wednesday, March 9, 2016 file photo, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, center, arrives at a military a base outside Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Al-Obeidi has received a no-confidence vote from parliament just as Iraqi forces retook a key northern town near the Islamic State-held city of Mosul on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. He is the first sitting defense minister to receive a no confidence vote from parliament since the overthrow of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 2003. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)
Iraqi security forces enter the town of Qayara, 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Mosul, after defeating Islamic state group forces, northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. Iraqi forces retook the key town of Qayara, near a major air base south of Mosul from the Islamic State group Thursday, according to a statement issued from the office of prime minister Al-Abadi. (AP Photo)
In this Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016 photo, a soldier from the 1st Battalion of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces take part in a training exercise to prepare for the operation to re-take Mosul from Islamic State militants, in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's leaders have repeatedly promised that Mosul â which has been in the hands of IS militants for more than two years now â will be retaken this year. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Iraqi Kurdish female fighter Haseba Nauzad (2nd R), 24, and Yazidi female fighter Asema Dahir (3rd R), 21, aim their weapon during a deployment near the frontline of the fight against Islamic State militants in Nawaran near Mosul, Iraq, April 20, 2016. When Islamic State swept into the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar in 2014, a few young Yazidi women took up arms against the militants attacking women and girls from their community. The killing and enslaving of thousands from Iraq's minority Yazidi community focused international attention on the group's violent campaign to impose its radical ideology and prompted Washington to launch an air offensive. It also prompted the formation of this unusual 30-woman unit made up of Yazidis as well as Kurds from Iraq and neighbouring Syria. For them, only one thing matters: revenge for the women raped, beaten and executed by the jihadist militants. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah SEARCH "WOMEN NAWARAN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Female Peshmerga fighters hold their weapons at a site during a deployment near the frontline of the fight against Islamic State militants in Nawaran near Mosul, Iraq, April 20, 2016. When Islamic State swept into the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar in 2014, a few young Yazidi women took up arms against the militants attacking women and girls from their community. The killing and enslaving of thousands from Iraq's minority Yazidi community focused international attention on the group's violent campaign to impose its radical ideology and prompted Washington to launch an air offensive. It also prompted the formation of this unusual 30-woman unit made up of Yazidis as well as Kurds from Iraq and neighbouring Syria. For them, only one thing matters: revenge for the women raped, beaten and executed by the jihadist militants. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah SEARCH "WOMEN NAWARAN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Smoke rises after airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in a village east of Mosul, Iraq, May 29, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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"The roadside bombs they used, they would steal from ISIS," "Abu Ali", a Mosul Battalion intermediary told CNN. "ISIS puts bombs in certain areas and those who have previous military experience go and steal these bombs and place them to target ISIS."

After ISIS captured Mosul on June 2014, the jihadists conducted a search for weapons that were both abandoned by fleeing Iraqi soldiers as well as arms held by citizens; however, many remained hidden outside of ISIS' grasp. It is with these rifles and pistols that the Mosul Battalion wreaks havoc for ISIS, Ali explained to CNN.

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"Saddam militarized the population, all Iraqi people have weapons training," continued Ali.

Risking torture and death, the organization claims to be so secretive that many of their members don't know the identities of others. Contacting each other via cell phone — a crime that's punishable by cutting the hand off the offender or even death — the rebels have developed a crude, yet effective, way of communicating.

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"They work in two-person formations and a third person is at a higher level to avoid compromising the group if one is captured," he said.

Initially established by two close friends, the Mosul Battalion now claims to have between 100 and 300 fighters, many of them youth and former military members. If this figure is correct, their efforts may be invaluable in the coming months as coalition forces begin their massive campaign to liberate the city from ISIS.

The Mosul Battalion claims to have also already provided intelligence and coordinates of ISIS positions for coalition airstrikes.

"They wanted to work with the coalition for a couple reasons. So that the coalition is precise and doesn't hit civilian populations but also to accelerate the elimination of ISIS," said Ali to CNN.

Given how past failures of the Iraqi military and US-led coalition forces led to the unintended rise of ISIS, the presence of an organic and local anti-ISIS resistance movement will be critical to the continued success of beating the militants.

Check out the full CNN report here»

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