Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Islamic State still threat to Mosul Dam, Pentagon says

Sep. 2, 2014 - 09:20PM   |  
Iraqi security forces in an armored vehicle and a Shiite militiaman take part in an operation outside Amirli, Iraq, on Sept. 1. Aid began flowing into the small northern Shiite town after security forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke a two-month siege by insurgents in a rare victory by government forces.
Iraqi security forces in an armored vehicle and a Shiite militiaman take part in an operation outside Amirli, Iraq, on Sept. 1. Aid began flowing into the small northern Shiite town after security forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke a two-month siege by insurgents in a rare victory by government forces. (AP)
  • Filed Under

After several weeks of U.S. airstrikes, militants with the Islamic State continue to mount offenses against the Mosul Dam and threaten the vital facility that controls water and electricity across northern Iraq.

“ISIS keeps trying to take it back,” Rear. Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said at a briefing Tuesday.

“As long as they continue to pose a threat to the facility we are going to continue to hit them,” Kirby said.

The continued counterattacks from IS militants highlights the strength of the forces that top U.S. officials say are well-armed, well-financed and tactically skilled.

The militants are facing a daily ground-level fight with Iraqi and Kurdish security forces backed by U.S. airstrikes. The latest U.S. airstrike on the Mosul Dam area came on Monday, when U.S. aircraft destroyed three trucks, an armed vehicle and a mortar position near the dam, military officials said.

The U.S. has conducted dozens of strikes since the IS militants abandoned the dam Aug. 18 and Iraqi and Kurdish security forces regained control of the facility.

IS militants controlled the dam for several weeks in July and August, but U.S. officials began providing close-air support for Iraqi forces to retake the dam because the U.S. believed that any failure of the massive facility, either intentional or accidental, could result in catastrophic flooding and a widespread humanitarian crisis.

Airstrikes against the IS forces in the area surrounding the Mosul Dam have continued under the mission that President Obama outlined in early August. He authorized airstrikes for three purposes: to protect U.S. personnel, avert humanitarian crises and support the Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground fighting IS militants, Kirby said.

There are currently about 900 U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, most of them providing security for the U.S. Embassy and other facilities while also providing limited advice and support for the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces. Military officials say U.S. troops are not involved in ground-level combat in Iraq.

The U.S. military mission in Iraq remains limited, Kirby said, in part because the root problems fueling the IS militants’ support and success are political, not military. Beyond the battlefield, Iraq’s Baghdad government needs to offer Iraq’s Sunni minority a fair share of power and money, officials said.

“Ultimately … the real measure of success is that their ideology is ultimately defeated and the only way that is going to be done is through good governance,” Kirby said.

“There is not going to be a military solution to this. ... The answer is that the ideology gets rejected because there is good government, responsive government and inclusive government inside Iraq and frankly in Syria as well,” he said.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Chief season screw-ups
As the focus on professionalism is refined, these four cases may have crossed the line

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook