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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora