Kurds expect ISIS to make counterattack for Mosul Dam - Tucson News Now

Kurds expect ISIS to make counterattack for Mosul Dam

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The Mosul Dam was taken back from ISIS terrorists by Iraqi and Kurd forces with the help of U.S. airstrikes. (Source: CNN) The Mosul Dam was taken back from ISIS terrorists by Iraqi and Kurd forces with the help of U.S. airstrikes. (Source: CNN)

MOSUL DAM, IRAQ (CNN) - A day after Iraqi and Kurdish forces recaptured the country's largest hydro-electric dam from Sunni extremists, the two sides are working together to further expand their control of the area.

But the fight is far from over.

Driving through the remains of defensive positions an enormous expanse of water suddenly appears.

It's Mosul Dam with water from the mighty Tigris River and the stage for one of the fiercest battles against ISIS. A battle to win back control of this strategically critical infrastructure. From the skies, the U.S. unleashed its most intensive bombardment, 35 strikes over 72 hours, hitting 90 ISIS targets.

While on the ground, Kurd Peshmerga forces and Iraqi commandos launched an aggressive assault on enemy lines, a combined operation that would eventually force ISIS to retreat.

"We are so happy we control this area … the dam of Mosul is very important,” said Cmdr. Mansour Barzani of the Kurd Peshmerga forces.

There were fears the Sunni extremists could sabotage the dam, blowing it up and unleashing a wall of water that would be catastrophic to millions of Iraqis downstream.

In the end, damage to the facility was minimal, only the surrounding areas bearing the brunt of war.

But as the convoy of Kurd Peshmerga forces moved in to reinforce the area, ISIS was only a few kilometers away.

On the wall of the Mosul Dam that ISIS controlled for more than two weeks, a fierce battle was waged to take control of it. It's now in the hands of the Kurd Peshmerga who are claiming victory. In the distance you can hear machine gunfire. ISIS is digging in.

But Iraqi and Kurdish military officials know their problem now lies in nearby Mosul, under complete control of ISIS after it seized Iraq's second largest city back in June. They believe the militants will go there to re-group, re-arm and consolidate before launching their next offensive.

It is believed ISIS will strike again.

"I believe that for sure yes - but when I don't know," Barzani said.

Enjoying their victory, these forces know this battle is only just beginning. If they want to defeat an enemy committed to destroying their freedom and their country.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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