All bore testament to the deadly effect American airstrikes were having on the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, who until this month were marauding over northern Iraq with little resistance and who two weeks ago seized control of the dam.
It was not until President Obama authorized airstrikes by the United States military on Aug. 7 that the Sunni fighters’ advance was halted. Two days of concerted air assaults starting Sunday around the dam then paved the way for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim the site.
On Tuesday, Kurdish military officials gave reporters a tour of the dam, to showcase Monday night’s victory and offer journalists a look at the facility. The dam itself, backed by a turquoise lake and surrounded by dun-colored mountains, was in fine condition, with little evidence of damage either from the fighting or from two weeks in militant hands.