News / Middle East

US Strikes Militants Near Key Mosul Dam in Iraq

A flight deck crew member is seen giving an 'all clear' before a F/A-18C Hornet takes off from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf August 12, 2014.
A flight deck crew member is seen giving an 'all clear' before a F/A-18C Hornet takes off from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf August 12, 2014.
VOA News

For the second straight day, U.S. military forces have carried out airstrikes to support Kurdish fighters as they try to wrest control of a strategic dam in northern Iraq from Islamic State militants.

The White House said on Sunday that President Barack Obama authorized U.S. air strikes in Iraq to help retake control of the Mosul Dam.       

“The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, threaten U.S. personnel and facilities - including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad - and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace,” the White House said in a statement.

FILE - A general view of the dam in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq.FILE - A general view of the dam in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq.
x
FILE - A general view of the dam in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq.
FILE - A general view of the dam in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq.


It added that the operations were being undertaken “in coordination with and at the request of the government of Iraq.” 

U.S. defense officials said Sunday's 14 raids destroyed or damaged armed vehicles, armored personnel carriers and an Islamic State checkpoint. The U.S. said it used a mix of fighter jets, bombers and unmanned drones in conducting the latest attacks, on top of nine others it carried out the day before.

Kurdish fighters are reporting they have retaken the eastern half of territory near the Mosul dam on the Tigris River, which provides electricity and irrigation for much of the region.  But the Kurds said their advance has been slowed by bombs planted by retreating jihadists, who had taken control of the dam earlier this month.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect march in a rally at the Iraqi-Turkish border crossing in Zakho district of the Dohuk Governorate of the Iraqi Kurdistan province August 17, 2014.Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect march in a rally at the Iraqi-Turkish border crossing in Zakho district of the Dohuk Governorate of the Iraqi Kurdistan province August 17, 2014.
x
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect march in a rally at the Iraqi-Turkish border crossing in Zakho district of the Dohuk Governorate of the Iraqi Kurdistan province August 17, 2014.
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect march in a rally at the Iraqi-Turkish border crossing in Zakho district of the Dohuk Governorate of the Iraqi Kurdistan province August 17, 2014.


On Saturday, witnesses said the Islamic State militants massacred 80 people, most of them members of the Yazidi religious minority, during a raid on the northern Iraqi village of Kocho.

The United States first launched airstrikes earlier this month against the insurgents, in part to prevent the killing of thousands of Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met in Irbil Saturday with the president of Iraq's Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani.  Steinmeier said Germany has made extra humanitarian aid money available for people fleeing the Islamists.

Barzani described what is happening in the region as a "tragic situation."

Aid agencies are increasing humanitarian operations in Iraq, in response to the recent U.N. declaration that the displacement crisis in the country has reached its highest level of emergency.  About 1.2 million people have fled their homes this year to escape attacks by the militants.

Some people fleeing the violence say they are in dire need of humanitarian aid.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

update Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More