Wednesday 23 May 2018

‘Keys to Mosul’

, August 21, 2014

Peshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on August 21. Despite its structural faults, the country's biggest dam at 3.6 km long, built by a German-Italian consortium in the 1980s, is a vital water and power source for Mosul, Iraq's largest northern city of 1.7 million residents. Control the dam and you control the 'keys' to the city. With that in mind, Islamic State insurgents who captured swathes of Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate, wrested control of the dam from Kurdish forces in recent weeks. While Iraqi and Kurdish forces recaptured the dam with the help of US air strikes on Monday, "the most dangerous dam in the world" - as a US Army Corps of Engineers report described it - still has the potential for catastrophe. Reuters/Youssef Boudlal

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