US, Iraq, Kurds team up to retake Mosul Dam from ISIS

posted at 11:31 am on August 16, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The creation of a new Iraqi government without Nouri al-Maliki may have already begun paying off in more muscular assistance to Baghdad as ISIS continues its sweep through the northern part of the country. The US has begun coordinating air strikes with a new offensive by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake control of the Mosul Dam, whose collapse could kill as many as a half-million people. The dam could play a critical role for ISIS for extortion purposes and the loss of it could cripple central Iraq, which relies on power generated from the problem-plagued dam:

U.S. warplanes carried out airstrikes in northern Iraq near ISIS-controlled Mosul Dam early Saturday morning, the Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported, citing eyewitnesses.

CNN confirmed that a U.S. and Iraqi military operation aimed at retaking the country’s largest hydroelectric dam from the so-called Islamic State was scheduled to begin early Saturday morning (Friday at 6 p.m. ET).

The operation was to begin with U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes against ISIS positions, with Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces following up on the ground.

U.S. fighter jets began carrying out the strikes early Saturday morning local time, Rudaw reported.

The loss of control of the dam created a high degree of concern in Baghdad as well as with its Western allies. Not only does the dam provide power to central Iraq, it’s also a critical part of the fresh-water infrastructure in the region. The dam itself is fragile even when the political situation is stable; the government in Iraq had planned to partner with the US and others to fix it before it collapsed on its own before ISIS pushed them out of the region. Its destruction — natural or otherwise — would be catastrophic for millions of people in Iraq.

NBC News spoke with Iraqi and Kurdish forces working together on the new offensive. They understand the need to work together, but when asked whether they can beat ISIS, the best they can say is insh’allah:

ISIS, meanwhile, has not stopped its offensive even with the US conducting airstrikes on their position. They sacked a village near Sinjar, massacring 80 or more Yazidi men and seizing over 100 women to send into slavery. The town of Kojo had been under siege for days, and finally fell yesterday. CNN notes that the reports of massacring men and sexual slavery for women is consistent with reports from similar ISIS actions in the area:

This is a campaign of annihilation against the Yazidis, and also the Christians and even Muslims who profess any heterodoxy from ISIS’ extreme ideology. The UN issued sanctions against a half-dozen of ISIS’ financiers and warned that the same will follow for anyone supplying weapons to the group:

The United Nations Security Council took aim at Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria on Friday, blacklisting six people including the Islamic State spokesman and threatening sanctions against those who finance, recruit or supply weapons to the insurgents.

The 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution that aims to weaken the Islamic State – an al Qaeda splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate – and al Qaeda’s Syrian wing Nusra Front.

Islamic State has long been blacklisted by the Security Council, while Nusra Front was added earlier this year. Both groups are designated under the U.N. al Qaeda sanctions regime.

Friday’s resolution named six people who will be subject to an international travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo, including Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, an Iraqi described by U.N. experts as one of the group’s “most influential emirs” and close to its leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

The UN seems a bit slow to react to the crisis, which has been unfolding all year. While these sanctions are certainly welcome, they won’t do much to deflect the current trajectory of the group. They have all the arms they need for a while, thanks to the collapse of the Iraqi military, and it won’t be long before they can sell oil on the black market to get their own financing. This seems too little, too late to stop ISIS, and it’s telling that the UN can’t seem to bring itself to discuss what actually could stop ISIS — which is a multilateral force that will roll back ISIS and take control on the ground, denying them the opportunity to commit their genocides. Without that even on the table, ISIS has little to worry about in the near term, even if they do lose control temporarily of the Mosul Dam.


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Was Roosevelt at Hyde Park when we landed in Normandy?

formwiz on August 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM

The UN seems a bit slow to react to the crisis, which has been unfolding all year.

Too busy squealing about Israel.

Midas on August 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I bet Obama’s going to be really P.O’d when he reads this tomorrow after he wakes up from his choom nap.

Too little. Way to late.

“The future does not belong to those who slander the name of the Prophet of Islam”

B. Hussein Obama.

Key West Reader on August 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM

There can be only one reason why ISIS hasn’t attacked Baghdad yet. They don’t think they can win. Right?

So hit them now at the dam, and keep up the pressure.

PattyJ on August 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM

what could stop ISIS but will not be discussed here, is a frank examination of Islam and it’s ideology. ISIS are not radicals in the classical sense of an individual who is on the fringes of their ideology. They are simply following the guidelines of the Koran, the central theme being murdering polytheists and pagans, taking as sex slaves the women, and forcing people of the book to either submit to Islam, pay an extortion tax and live under subjugation, or die. This website won’t confront this because they want to get along with the PC crowd and don’t want bad press, that’s why you won’t see any links to bloggers of posts actually critical of the Islamic ideology that manifests itself in this behavior.

So we’ll continue to run around like headless chickens, supporting one side of a muslim civil war that for the moment wants to kill infidels less than the other, until they to become extreme and start killing non-muslims, like in Syria or Libya. Small note about history, the Kurds actually participated in large numbers of massacres of Yazidis and christians when they were working with the Ottomans

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM

The UN seems a bit slow to react to the crisis, which has been unfolding all year.

Understatement of the year.

BallisticBob on August 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

simple example, yesterday Mohommad elbairy, an operative for the Muslim Brotherhood and a fervent Islamist, who works for the DHS, bragged about destroying all capabilities for domestic intel agencies and police forces to track Muslim terrorism or train officers as to how to do it.

Federal Law enforcement has already faced a complete purge of training materials, aiming to eliminate any vestige of information regarding how Jihadi terror groups draw their threat doctrine from Islamic sources. Long established specialists on political Islam, counterterrorism, asymmetrical warfare and counterinsurgency have lost their jobs, been publicly ridiculed, or, if they wish to continue to instruct, suffer through turning over their intellectual work products to a faceless committee to determine what can and cannot be said about America’s enemies.

why won’t this be discussed?

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Sunni muslims, who are quietly sympathetic to (Sunni) ISIS and their objectives, have worked themselves into positions of authority throughout the hierarchy of the U.N. and have been quite effective in preventing the UN from doing anything of substance to stop ISIS other than repeatedly sending them sternly written letters and banning a few people from traveling.

Back in the USA, Sunni muslims who have been appointed by (Sunni) Barack Obama into high-level positions within the White House and throughout various Gov’t Agencies including the military, have been effective in preventing the USA from doing anything other than bombing some empty trucks parked in the Iraqi desert and bombing a an unmanned anti-aircraft gun in the middle of the night (events which were probably preceded by first dropping leaflets letting them know a bombing raid was coming). Not surprisingly, not a single ISIS fighter is reported to have been killed by any of this.

Meanwhile, the Pope begs for something to be done by the international community to stop the slaughter of Christians and Yazidis but his pleas are completely ignored.

Is anything going to stop the rise of the Islamic Caliphate? I doubt it.

Mahdi on August 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Keep making the ISIS fighters die for Allah… lots of them… every day… eventually they’ll run out or run away…

Khun Joe on August 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM

There can be only one reason why ISIS hasn’t attacked Baghdad yet. They don’t think they can win. Right?

So hit them now at the dam, and keep up the pressure.

PattyJ on August 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Everything I’ve read indicates they don’t want to capture Bagdhad in the conventional sense right now. Just soften it up with car and suicide bombings, while they infiltrate. I suspect they are planning a seige at some point when they are positioned the way they want in the interior. Imagine the carnage.

butch on August 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I was hoping they would get around to this damn.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM

it’s telling that the UN US can’t seem to bring itself to discuss what actually could stop ISIS — which is a multilateral joint force that will roll back ISIS and take control on the ground, denying them the opportunity to commit their genocides.

We are men of action. Lies do not become us.

FIFY.

unclesmrgol on August 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM

They sacked a village near Sinjar, massacring 80 or more Yazidi men and seizing over 100 women to send into slavery.

I thought The Won said these folks are okay now.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Don’t reveal the tenets of Islam. It’s Haram.

http://www.jihad-watch.com

http://www.ask-imam.com

Key West Reader on August 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Oops, my bad…

http://www.JihadWatch.org

Key West Reader on August 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Awwww.. http://www.Ask-Imam.com scrubbed its website.

/Color me perplexed.

Key West Reader on August 16, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Hysterical NYT

Schadenfreude on August 16, 2014 at 12:55 PM

sounds like our brave dear leader is going to try to get away with just airstrikes until after the election

independent76 on August 16, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Why wouldn’t ISIS just blow the damn if they’re in danger of losing it? They could just blame it on the government forces and the US.

claudius on August 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

claudius on August 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

And why is CNN announcing the operation before it is complete? Or is it now?

gh on August 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM

You mean those jihadis won’t be able to use their credit cards, unless they have a Chinese credit card? ISIS gets a majority of it’s funding from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. Are we going to see sanctions on them? Don’t hold your breath.

Viator on August 16, 2014 at 1:06 PM

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Don’t reveal the tenets of Islam. It’s Haram.

http://www.jihad-watch.com

http://www.ask-imam.com
Key West Reader on August 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

as far as i know robert spencer and Jihadwatch are banned from hotair

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

US military officials told NBC News the decision to try to retake the dam came after intelligence showed IS militants “were not yet at a point where they could blow up the installation”.

A Kurdish commander, Major General Abdelrahman Korini, told AFP that the Peshmerga had captured the eastern side of the dam and were “still advancing”.

BBC (google: 1 minute ago)

gh on August 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

as far as i know robert spencer and Jihadwatch are banned from hotair

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

So how do you explain the link in the right sidebar ?

gh on August 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM

I wish people would stop talking about the UN as if they will do anything, it’s like believing Santa is going to come down your chimney one year.

Tard on August 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM

as far as i know robert spencer and Jihadwatch are banned from hotair

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

So how do you explain the link in the right sidebar ?

gh on August 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM

as far as i know it’s the last vestige of Malkin’s old associates, he departed ways with hotair and none of his or his associates posts are linked to on here. As i stated before the IS is not a fringe movement, it draws fighters from every country in the world, along with logistics, moral, financial, and political support. Discussing military strategy to defeat is is akin to dropping airstrikes on some village in occupied East Ukraine to defeat nazism in the 40′s

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Is the CIA still training ISIS in Jordan? Might be prudent to cut back on that. Ask Saudi permission first of course.

BL@KBIRD on August 16, 2014 at 1:34 PM

why won’t this be discussed?

golembythebay on August 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Discuss away.

Is anything going to stop the rise of the Islamic Caliphate? I doubt it.

Mahdi on August 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM

BO’s actions/inaction suggest that he’d be perfectly fine if the “flag of Allah” were raised above the White House.

I guess it’s becoming more and more clear why BO specifically identifies who will be targeted by drones.

Syzygy on August 16, 2014 at 1:39 PM

The UN seems a bit slow to react to the crisis, which has been unfolding all year.

Understatement of the year.

BallisticBob on August 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

They were busy condemning Israel for existing while Jewish.

kcewa on August 16, 2014 at 1:57 PM

500 ISIS in Great Britain and way more in the US.

obama owns them, via the open borders.

Plus, this idiocy

Schadenfreude on August 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM

It may be to late. It does not mean they should not try.

gerrym51 on August 16, 2014 at 2:05 PM

So, who are these financiers of weapons? Where do they come from? Call me silly, but this sounds like a plant. Just like all the other stories about ISIS getting their weapons from taking Iraqi positions. Although the later is possible. Since,we seem to be playing fairy-tail lets create one of our own. Is at all possible that ISIS was armed by weapons coming out of Libya, by way of Turkey? Just a thought.

DDay on August 16, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Obama is willing to try a little force as long as it is comes from high above or miles away. Confronting the enemy face-to-face is beyond his capabilities,

rplat on August 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

This is a campaign of annihilation against the Yazidis, and also the Christians and even Muslims who profess any heterodoxy from ISIS’ extreme ideology

This extreme ideology is called Islam.

There is nothing that ISIS has done that is not totally in accordance with Islam and the teachings of all Muslims’ “Perfect Man”, Mohammad, and the examples that he personally and repeatedly set, including massacring men and forcing the women to be slaves, sexual and otherwise.

Mirror, mirror on the Blood Drenched Wall
Who is most like Mohammad of them all?
Why, you are ISIS, you are!

VorDaj on August 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Is at all possible that ISIS was armed by weapons coming out of Libya, by way of Turkey? Just a thought.

DDay on August 16, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Along with weapons we gave them in Syria as we called them “Rebels”.

VorDaj on August 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I remember being part of a DSAC team that studied the safety of Mosul Dam back in 2007.

If that facility was located in the US, it would have been rehabilitated yesterday. The thing is poorly designed, poorly built and has been poorly operated for a very long time.

The spillways are ineffective in handling a flood, and the floodgates themselves work on a coin-flip basis. Even the generators that make electricity out of kinetic energy are in horrible shape. They need rewinding because they’ve been used for so long without decent maintenance.

That dam could go tomorrow.

Conservative Mischief on August 16, 2014 at 3:52 PM

we are screwed…we will be fighting them in our front yards….

crosshugger on August 16, 2014 at 3:54 PM

BTW, I also did some work on a klinker cement plant near As Samawah. That too was poorly designed, poorly built and poorly operated and we recommended walking away from it.

However, I don’t think the coalition did, because it was the largest klinker plant in the country and they desperately needed cement to make concrete for rebuilding.

I guarantee you that poor quality cement from that plant was used to build a poor quality dam just a few hundred kliks away.

Conservative Mischief on August 16, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Is at all possible that ISIS was armed by weapons coming out of Libya, by way of Turkey? Just a thought.

DDay on August 16, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Along with weapons we gave them in Syria as we called them “Rebels”.

VorDaj on August 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

ISIS also scored about a billion dollars cash from banks they raided in Mosul.

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM

the best they can say is insh’allah

That is the best they can say in their religion

In the Qur’an,
Muslims are told that they should never say they will do a particular thing in the future without adding insha’Allah to the statement.

Everything is already written in the book. Ultimately they do not determine their own fate, but follow the fate already written. Therefore if you ask if they will succeed, god already knows, and they will find out when they get there

A different mindset from the West

entagor on August 16, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Take no prisoners. Send them to Allah.

racquetballer on August 16, 2014 at 6:25 PM

islam is a cancer on the world body…..

thedevilinside on August 16, 2014 at 7:17 PM

we are screwed…we will be fighting them in our front yards….

crosshugger on August 16, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Particularly since our own Fe’ral government would impose an ROE of something like: “You can only engage them after they have decapitated at least two family members, and then defend yourself only with primitive weapons after getting a judge’s permission.”

Reuben Hick on August 16, 2014 at 7:17 PM