News / Middle East

Obama: Iraqi Kurds, Military Recapture Mosul Dam

President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 18, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 18, 2014.
Meredith Buel

President Barack Obama says American airstrikes have helped Iraqi forces and Kurds recapture the strategic Mosul dam from Islamist militants and avert a humanitarian disaster.   

During an appearance at the White House, President Obama said Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, backed by U.S. war planes, have retaken the dam from fighters from the Islamic State group.  

“If that dam was breached it could have proven catastrophic with floods that would have threatened the lives of thousands of civilians and endangered our embassy compound in Baghdad," said President Obama.

Obama said Iraqi and Kurdish forces took the lead fighting the militants on the ground, which proves they can work together.

He said the U.S. is providing weapons to Iraqi and Kurdish fighters and they are making important progress in pushing back terrorists.

The president said the U.S. is putting together an international coalition to bring humanitarian aid to displaced Iraqis.

“The United States will work with the Iraqi government as well as partners like the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy and Australia to get food and water to people in need and to bring long-term relief to people who have been driven from their homes," said Obama.

U.S. Central Command says fighters, bombers and drones launched 15 air strikes Monday around the Mosul dam.

The strikes hit nine fighting positions of the Islamic State as well as anti-aircraft artillery, armed vehicles and other targets.

Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren:

“We struck preplanned targets ahead of the ground operation and then during the ground operation are continuing to strike targets as needed," said Warren.

Since August 8, U.S. Central Command has conducted 68 airstrikes, with about half of those in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul dam.

The dam is crucial to northern Iraq, providing electricity and irrigation for much of the region.

Warren says the airstrikes are part of a broader mission to protect U.S. personnel, critical infrastructure as well as preventing humanitarian disasters.

The U.S. first launched airstrikes earlier this month against the insurgents, in part to prevent the killing of thousands of minority Yazidis and Christians stranded in northern Iraq.  

 

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
August 18, 2014 10:13 PM
If there is no support to world famous terrorist group in Syria to kill and beheaded helpless Syrians by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Jordon, Kuwait, EU and of course USA, this situation never happen. Give me answer, who is giving weapons, training in Jordon for human killers and Financial Back up. The answer will inform the world who is really terrorist.


by: Mr A from: new york
August 18, 2014 9:13 PM
great job. I am so happy that we are able to fight back the barbaric ISIs. I feel so bad about innocent people who are killed from ISIS militant. Now people understand a fact that radical Islam is very dangerous and Islam is not a peaceful religion .still .no body is paying attention to Saudi role .we to get the fact straight about the countries and individual who is supporting them

In Response

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
August 20, 2014 12:51 PM
Islam is a peaceful religion. Islam never ever teaches us to kill or even hurt some one. This is Saudi Wahabi Islam, who teaches its followers to kill or Beheaded helpless man and woman in the name of Saudi Islam. These terrorist got training in Saudi Arabia how to behead man and woman with pleasure and smile on their face. God did not disclose fate of these human killers in their graves, otherwise world will know what is the gift from God side against their activities in the name of Islam.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid