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Mosul Dam is under ISIS control, but it is still up and running, the colonel said. Engineers and employees remain at work, he said. official, are also keeping an eye on the Haditha Dam on the Euphrates River in Iraq's western Anbar province, where Iraqi troops have been holding off an ISIS assault for weeks. The dam is the second largest in the country, and it provides water to western and southern Iraq.
Engineering studies show that a failure of the dam would be catastrophic, resulting in flooding all the way to Baghdad, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Last week, Obama declared an end to an ISIS siege that had trapped tens of thousands of Yazidis in mountains, citing the success of targeted American airstrikes.
known as the Peshmerga had taken over the eastern side of the structure, a spokesman for the group said. Clashes were ongoing over the western side, Peshmerga spokesman Halgord Hikmat told CNN.
CNN military analyst retired Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks said it's likely ISIS wants to keep the Mosul Dam in working order.
The Yazidis are one of Iraq's smallest and oldest religious minorities.
On Sunday, the Cabinet of the Kurdish region of Iraq called on the Iraqi parliament to recognize the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidi people as "genocide."
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and duration as necessary to support the Iraqi forces in their efforts to retake and establish control of this critical infrastructure site," the letter read. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace," it continued.
Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam, the facility on the Tigris River about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the city of Mosul Saucony Kinvara 7 is a key source of electricity, irrigation and flood protection.
ISIS fighters seized it this month, and they were digging in Sunday to keep their grip, using snipers, land mines and other explosives in their efforts to fend off advancing forces.
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The United States estimates there may be up to 400 ISIS fighters in and around the dam complex, the official said.
The dam complex has not been hit, the colonel said on condition of anonymity.
Militants of ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State, set up high powered explosives around buildings and detonated them, Kurdish Intelligence chief Masrour Barzani said.
"We believe our Peshmerga can take (the dam) back because this is something very, very dangerous," Barzani said. Central Command.
gates on the Falluja dam after seizing it in an effort to stop an Iraqi military advance. The water from the dam flooded a number of villages.
Kurdish forces fought back, sparking clashes.
strikes ISIS targets near key Iraqi dam
President Barack Obama justified the airstrikes in a letter to Congress the same day.
Smoke rose from the horizon, buildings were ablaze and the sound of massive explosions filled the air near Mosul Dam.
Videos released by the military showed two airstrikes near the Mosul Dam one hitting an armed truck, the other hitting a Humvee.
"These military operations will be limited in their scope Saucony Dirty Snow Grid 8000
"You don't want to have the cataclysmic event where, if this dam were to break, you would run the risk of flooding downstream along the Tigris," he said. "I would think that ISIS wants to retain control of that dam and would want to maintain its integrity, because it generates this electric power and they want to be able to sue that as a weapon system to those who are under their control."
And members of the Peshmerga said Sunday that they were worried that the militants could try to sabotage the dam.
A Peshmerga colonel told CNN the operation began early Saturday with Kurdish forces advancing toward the dam as the United States carried out airstrikes. military confirmed a mix of fighter jets and drones carried out nine airstrikes on Saturday near Mosul and the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil. military conducted 14 airstrikes in Iraq, damaging or destroying ISIS militants' vehicles, armored personnel carriers and a checkpoint, Central Command.
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