Take a look inside ISIS' newly-discovered escape tunnels outside of its Iraqi stronghold

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Iraq Counter Terrorism Service forces have discovered several underground tunnels used by ISIS to escape Mosul on Thursday.

The forces have launched a campaign last week to retake the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, which, if successful, could "mark the beginning of the end" for the terrorist group.

ISIS is fighting back — sending hundreds of fighters to Mosul and preparing for fierce battles with intense defenses, according to CNN — while at the same time, the militant group has established an elaborate network of tunnels across the city and neighboring villages that are used as escape routes.

Here are some astonishing photos of ISIS' secret tunnels.

The tunnel used by ISIS militants in Bazwaia, east of Mosul, Iraq, stretches for almost two miles.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: NBC News


The tunnels were used at escape routes and meeting points for the jihadists.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: CNN


Some tunnels are big enough for a motorbike, and some tunnel entrances were to be connected by a newly built road.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: CNN


The extensive network of tunnels "have all the necessary equipment that ISIS needs to stay inside" including electricity and air-conditioning, according to an Iraqi military spokesman.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: NBC News


Local residents caught smoking would be forced to dig 10 meters — about 32.8 feet — of tunnel.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: CNN


An Iraqi special forces soldier is seen inside a tunnel used by Islamic State militants in Bazwaia.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

ISIS has built two kinds of tunnels: some to unearth the city's antiquities and sell for profit and others for the military network.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: CNN


The Iraqi counterterrorism forces also uncovered "one of the largest factories" that ISIS used to manufacture home-made bombs.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: NBC News


ISIS used the factory to make suicide car bombs and denotation devices.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: NBC News


"They are sure that once they advance they will find more tunnels that lead to the center of Mosul," Iraqi counterterrorism spokesman said of the force's advance on Mosul from the east.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Source: NBC News


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