Kurdish troops backed by U.S. warplanes launched a bid Saturday to recapture Mosul dam, Iraq’s largest, from militants, a senior Kurdish military official said.
“Kurdish peshmerga, with U.S. air support, have seized control of the eastern side of the dam” complex, Major General Abdelrahman Korini told AFP.
“We killed several members of Daash. We are still advancing and in the coming hours should announce welcome news,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.
Witnesses said the air strikes started early in the morning and reported that fighting was ongoing in the afternoon.
Peshmerga forces lost control of the dam on Aug. 7 as ISIS fighters were sweeping the region, conquering one village after another and seizing other key infrastructure such as oil wells.
The dam on the Tigris river, on the southern shores of Mosul lake about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the city, provides electricity to much of the region and is crucial to irrigation in vast farming areas in Nineveh province.
A 2007 letter to the premier, Nouri al-Maliki, sent by then U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker and the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, David Petraeus, warned of the consequences of a disaster at the dam, which was assessed to have serious structural weaknesses.
“A catastrophic failure of Mosul dam would result in flooding along the Tigris river all the way to Baghdad,” the letter warned.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر