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By Ammar Cheikh Omar, Michele Neubert and Cassandra Vinograd

Life under ISIS can look surprisingly normal.

Video obtained by NBC News and smuggled out of the militants' Syrian stronghold of Raqqa offers a rare glimpse into everyday life under the militants. The city has been under ISIS control for nearly two years and serves as the Sunni extremists' de facto capital.

A screengrab from video smuggled out of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.NBC News

Despite the war waged outside by ISIS, life inside the Syrian city appears almost peaceful: birds chirping, scooter engines revving.

Buses drive down a paved road as an ISIS flag waves in a traffic circle. A man in jeans carries plastic grocery bags down the sidewalk, while another stops to speak to a one of the many taxis lined up in the street.

Horns honk as a woman in a black abaya — or full black veil — walks by; then the call to prayer is heard. A young man is seen pushing a stroller, with a burqa-clad woman clutching a handbag alongside him. There's little reminder of the dangerous forces at play — until a group of men jump out of a taxi, strapping guns to their backs.