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.  


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Comment Sorting
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

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.

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