ISIS Captures Iraq's Biggest Dam: Baghdad Water Supply In Jeopardy

Tyler Durden's picture


With the world's attention focused on the ongoing death and destruction in Gaza most have forgotten that just two months ago a vicious Al-Qaeda spinoff, after taking over the north of Iraq and a third of Syria's territory including its oil production facilities, proclaimed the creation of an Islamic State caliphate a few hundred kilometers north of Baghdad. The reason why the ISIS story fell off the front pages is that while the jihadists were consolidating their power in the caliphate region, it was believed that they have no chance of advancing onto Baghdad and the energy-rich Iraq regions south of Baghdad (and thus have little impact on the price of Brent). And yet there was one major "weakest link" - recall that a month ago we reported that "Baghdad May Lose Its Drinking Water As ISIS Approaches Dam", an outcome which would put Iraq's capital, and its 8 million residents, at the mercy of ISIS.

According to Al Arabia it is this "weakest link" that is now in play after ISIS took over Iraq's biggest dam unopposed by Kurdish fighters, who also lost three towns and an oilfield on Sunday to the Sunni militant group, witnesses said cited by Reuters.

Iraqi security officials said Wednesday that fighters for the
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were advancing on the Haditha Dam, the
second-largest in Iraq.

VOA confirms:

Islamic State fighters seized control of Iraq's biggest dam, an oilfield and two more towns on Sunday after inflicting their first major defeat on Kurdish forces since sweeping through the region in June


Local officials said militants with the extremist group Islamic State took control of the towns of Zumar and Sinjar near the city of Mosul on Sunday, waging fierce clashes with Kurdish forces.


The French news agency AFP quoted a United Nations spokesman saying 200,000 people have fled Sinjar and said there are grave concerns for their safety.

It gets worse: control of the dam could give ISIS, which has threatened to march on Baghdad, the ability to flood major cities. This in turn will merely serve to further facilitate the expansion of ISIS as it approaches Baghdad from the north...

Meanwhile, ISIS also seized two small towns in northern Iraq after driving out Kurdish security forces, officials and residents said, according to the Associated Press.


The fresh gains by the Sunni extremist militants have forced dozens of residents to flee from the religiously mixed towns of Zumar and Sinjar, near the militant-held city of Mosul, to the northern self-ruled Kurdish region.


Earlier on Sunday, ISIS militants have successfully captured an oil field close to the Iraqi town of Zumar after fighting with Kurdish forces who had control of the area.


ISIS, which had a lightning advance through northern Iraq in June, warned residents in nearby villages along the border with Syria to leave their homes, suggesting they were planning an assault, witnesses said. ISIS fighters killed 16 Kurdish troops in attacks in northern Iraq, while 30 pro-government forces died battling the jihadists on other frontlines, officials said Saturday.


Zumar is a small Kurdish-majority outpost northwest of Mosul, which used to be under federal government control but was taken over by the Peshmerga in June.


In other attacks on Saturday, five would-be volunteer fighters were killed and 16 wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on a Shiite militia recruitment center in the town of Balad, north of Baghdad, police said.

... and from the south.

In equally intense overnight fighting on the main front south of Baghdad, at least 23 pro-government forces were killed by relentless mortar shelling of their positions in Jurf al-Sakhr.


ISIS militants began attacking the town late Friday, killing 11 soldiers and 12 members of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, an officer and army medic said.


Another seven soldiers were wounded during a subsequent government operation against jihadist fighters in Jurf al-Sakhr, Al-Hamya and Latifiya, the sources said, claiming 37 IS fighters were killed.


Using the western city of Fallujah as a rear base, jihadists have repeatedly attacked Jurf al-Sakhr, where pro-government forces are keen to prevent a foray that would expose the nearby holy Shiite city of Karbala and further encircle Baghdad by cutting the main road to the south.

And if Baghdad does indeed fall, all those recent Crude shorts will be less than happy.

Finally, here is a visual summary of all the most recent clashes as ISIS approaches Baghdad, courtesy of the ISW:

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Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:04 | 5041012 blindman
blindman's picture

isis? the cia, mosad and bankers now control the water.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:16 | 5041061 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

But Barry drew a Red Line...

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:18 | 5041069 blindman
blindman's picture

and china has mysterious red water.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:23 | 5041089 Relentless101
Relentless101's picture

"They've poisoned the watering hole!"


Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:25 | 5041096 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

I would expect them to blow up the damn as part of their return-to-stone-age mantra.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:32 | 5041120 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Probably more along the lines of taking the high ground, driving the evacuees to low grund, then blowing the dam and flushing ... as it were.



Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:36 | 5041142 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

Hasn't that be referred to as "the most dangerous dam in the world?"   Its packed earth construction which could be breached by a relatively small charge.

Casualties in Baghdad could be in the millions.  And the dam could collapse on its own without continuous injections of grout.  

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:53 | 5041194 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Mosul Dam is the dangerous one.


"""Seven years ago, a report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a Pentagon watchdog, highlighted structural problems at the dam, and its warnings about safety hinted at the catastrophic possibilities should the dam fall into the hands of ISIS. The report warned that a failure at the dam could send a 65-foot wave across parts of northern Iraq. “The worst-case scenario would be a significant loss of life and property,” the report said.""

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:07 | 5041244 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

""""Seven years ago, a report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a Pentagon watchdog, highlighted structural problems at the dam, and its warnings about safety hinted at the catastrophic possibilities should the dam fall into the hands of ISIS."


So you're saying the Pentagon planned ISIS seven years ago?

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:10 | 5041266 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

The Pentagon trained and financed ISIS.   I don't understand the game being played here, I don't think anybody does.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:19 | 5041291 max2205
max2205's picture

The Fed controls the price of oil....and stocks, and interest rates, and gold and silver and wages and commodities and the quality of my life, children, and retirement...


Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:30 | 5041318 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

WAY TO GO... Again, GWB...

>>WMD's, WMD's, WMD's, WMD's, We Gatta Get SADDAM That Fiend!!!<<

Whatever Happens Now With Iraq, You OWN IT 100%...

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:57 | 5041416 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

Just another case of dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 17:10 | 5041455 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Garmin just sent me an email.  They say there are now updated world maps available for eastern Europe and the Middle East.


Sun, 08/03/2014 - 20:34 | 5042117 Stackers
Stackers's picture

2015 News headline: " Obama to reluctantly order troops back into Iraq "

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:46 | 5042671 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Maybe the navy or marines?

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 02:09 | 5042739 toady
toady's picture

Where can I get some dam bait?

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 17:11 | 5041299 fleur de lis
fleur de lis's picture

You bet. There's no way ISIS could have advanced with such speed if their DC sponsors did not want it so. They are stupid Western pawns.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:31 | 5041328 tbd108
tbd108's picture

It's not the Pentagon. It's the CIA. Not the same thing.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:36 | 5041349 Bossman1967
Bossman1967's picture

Look over there while they bend us over andd let michell obama take over

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 17:14 | 5041465 Elliptico
Elliptico's picture

ISIL to take on Assad, Iran?

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 18:23 | 5041628 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

The game is to let ISIS get so mean and powerful and EVIL (watch the freakin videos) that the people demand their utter eradication using total war.  

Then the military gets told to wipe them off with ZERO leashes on the ROE using more powerful weapons.  

The US flips and shows a few of its high cards (stuff more lethal than a nuke) while wiping out a manufactured threat and makes it a nice warning to the Chinese and Russians to play nice OR ELSE. 

Oh and Greater Israel cleans up in the aftermath. 

Fuck I should have been a made-for-TV script writer. 

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:10 | 5041269 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

It's the NY Times. They would know.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 18:49 | 5041745 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

If they do the dam I hope they don't let the crisis go to waste. I mean 65 ft waves? They could host the first Iraqi Desert Giant Wave Surfing Classic, man. It would be awesome. Like totally dudes, bitchez, whatever.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:02 | 5042604 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

Hmm I expect the Jews to show up and part the water and stake claims to the land across the waves, some little clause in their book that they own it.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:32 | 5042645 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

If you'd read the book, that land goes to the children of Abraham, which includes the Arabs. The promised land is defined later.

So, no, despite your trolling nonsense the Jews won't show up to claim it. 

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 05:10 | 5042847 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Which book?

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 06:42 | 5042914 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

No, he's not saying the Pentagon planned ISIS seven years ago, fer crissakes.

I know reading comprehension hasn't been required for participation in ZH discussions for a very long time; but let's try.

The OP's comment said that, seven years ago, the report "highlighted structural problems at the dam", and gave "warnings about safety".  It didn't say that the report warned about the possibility of the dam falling into the hands of ISIS, since ISIS didn't exist when the report was written; only that there were problems with the dam.

Today, however, we can read the report's warnings about safety, combine those with the news of the advance of ISIS, and speculate about "catastrophic possibilities".

Is that any clearer?

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 23:52 | 5042594 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

They will soon turn the lake red with dead bodies no doubt. No matter who sponsors them and I have my doubts, these are some barbaric "folks" we have here.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:02 | 5042605 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

That would be because they are sponsored by the CIA and Pentagon

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:34 | 5042649 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Total crap COSMOS. You and lucky star are one and the same aren't you?

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 06:43 | 5042915 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

And you have proof of this, of course.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:22 | 5042630 luckystars
luckystars's picture

That water should flow to the Jews, eh?


ya creep.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 01:23 | 5042708 Seer
Seer's picture

Of course you would.

I doubt that they will.  This is the formation of a new empire happening here.  Such massive damage would only reduce their control.

The threat will be there.  But then again, all the propagandists on the other side of the fence want that threat to be touted.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:42 | 5042974 goldpercent
goldpercent's picture

Some how, The Monkeys sketch from the Kids In The Hall seems relevant.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 04:17 | 5042814 laomei
laomei's picture

Nothing about ISIS is "return to stone age".


They are Salafi extremists.  Pure and simple.  They believe that Islam has been corrupted from the original message and the first generations are the ones to emulate.  They are not "new" by any stretch of the imagination, they have been around for a good long time, but in the past they were content with just spreading the message and keeping to themselves.  This is the same basic ideaology as AQ and others like them.  They hate the hell out of shirk, and ironically they are basically modern day Ebionite extremists.  The original message has been warped and twisted into something that is not islam and they seek to rectify it.  Shrines are just idols to them.  If old graves stayed old graves and people would come to pay respects, that would be fine.  But they are literally worshipped and for that reason they have to go.  Dams? No reason to blow a dam, they are not insane.


What prompted all of this is the fact that the ME has been sliced up and handed to regimes which claim to be muslim but are not.  They see that real islam is in danger and seek to rectify the situation.


It's a good old religious war going on to determine the future of islam in the region.  Either it will go back to basics and stabilize, or it will be purged of the old ways of thinking and continue to evolve.  Kinda how the early christians murdered the shit out of the gnostics and everyone in the Jamesonian branches when they discovered that their own Pauline branch was just pure bullshit.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 04:29 | 5042819 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

laomei, the Gnostics and the Jamesonians were just heretics. can't let heretics live, can you?

now seriously, I agree with your view, they don't need to blow up dams. yet they do like to blow up heretic mosques

the real danger is that they start to blow up useful stuff if they feel they get vanquished soon, in the same way as the retreating Iraqi army did with Kuwaiti oil wells

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:10 | 5042935 laomei
laomei's picture

yep, that's the real danger... scorched earth if they start to lose and that's a strategy which transcends religion since basically forever.


The mosques they are blowing up tend to be ones built around tombs and islam is actually incredibly specific about that shit.  If there is a mosque which has had a tomb added to it, they just remove the tomb.


Same shit happened in Afghanistan with the buddhas.  They were in need of conservation, international agencies wanted to put up money for them.  The Taliban called it bullshit and said that if they wanted to help with anything they had to actually help the people. Agencies tried to work some deal where they would "buy" the sites and then the Taliban could use the money for X, Y and Z purposes.  Taliban called the bullshit for what it was... sanctions causing starvation, and here's a group of foreigners who don't care enough to use this money to help the people, but instead want to save some pagan relics.  In Salafi logic, that constitutes shirk.  In this vein, they are VERY similar to the Ebionites who believed that churches should be torn down, everything of value sold and given to the poor, the wood used to build homes for the poor and the scrap burned to provide warmth to the poor.


As for me, i don't really give a shit about any of it.  The Talmud is a collection of jewish fairy tales dreamed up by a wandering underclass of criminals.  Christianity which was basically just a guy trying to rectify the bullshit was perverted early on and ruined.  Islam, that shit is not "divine" or "inspired" or any of that crap.  It's a guy who got influenced by OG christians, ripped it off for 2 years, then proceeded to make shit up as he went along for his own benefit.  All of it is garbage... fucking desert-living shitheels.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:26 | 5041099 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

But, but... ISIS just "came out of nowhere" and "caught us by surprise", well armed and driving brand new -- and matching -- white Toyotas.

This is to Plan, to fracture Iraq and Syria into sectarian pieces.

Mossad, CIA with House of Saud, that's my bet.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:40 | 5041156 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

Calling Pat Tillman.  Pat Tillman, please report from the other side.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:41 | 5041345 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

""Mossad, CIA with House of Saud, that's my bet.""

I Doubt It, Not Enough Brain Power...

This Is Now Gone Beyond Extreme, Spinning OUT OF CONTROL.
EBOLA May Be The HEadlines, But This
Could Be The Next Archduke Franz Ferdinand "Event"...

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 23:41 | 5042584 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Fracturing any and all resource rich countries into sectarian pieces is what Ms. VICTORIA NULAND and our demented, fascist, 'foreign policy' is all about.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 06:53 | 5042900 Gazooks
Gazooks's picture

the Manson strategy



Gladio Plan B

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 16:51 | 5041400 JohninMK
JohninMK's picture

Now I understand why they said they never found the WMDs. They were looking for the wrong things.

It was Water of Mass Destruction.

See they didn' lie after all.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:40 | 5042661 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Or perhaps there's a secret weapons lab under the water, behind the dam (like in X-Men II)

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 18:23 | 5041664 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

Iraq, as it has been known, is no more.   Time to admit that and start redrawing lines.

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 23:38 | 5042575 Four chan
Four chan's picture

the times they are a changing.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:56 | 5042686 worbsid
worbsid's picture

Most of the problems we see are from people drawing lines.  Who owns this land ... you gotta be kidding me.  I believe that was an aboriginal non-concept.

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:23 | 5042633 luckystars
luckystars's picture

And Israel has not peeped that they threaten their security and nothing is done.



Mon, 08/04/2014 - 01:40 | 5042717 Seer
Seer's picture

I don't think so: yes, they're likely messing around like they always do, but this is WAY beyond them.  I believe what we're seeing is the birth of a new empire.

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