ISIS Rampage Continues As Militants Seize Key Iraq Dam

ISIS continues its rampage across Iraq as militants seize a key dam and intensifies its persecution of religious minorities.
Posted at 9:05 PM, Aug 07, 2014

The group formerly known as ISIS are now calling themselves simply the "Islamic State"  — but the name change hasn't come with a change in tactics. 

After beating back the Iraqi military this summer, ISIS has turned its focus to Kurdistan, an autonomous region in northern Iraq defended by ethnic Kurds. (Video via All Eyes on Syria)

And although heavily outnumbered, the Islamic State has sent the Kurds running.

Their latest success is the capture of the Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq. The New York Times called it "a potentially catastrophic development for Iraq’s civilian population.​"

Why so catastrophic? Fox Newsexplains: "They could cut off the power or the water to everybody or they could flood much of the area.

Business Insider reports that if the dam is blown, the resulting flood could put Mosul under sixty five feet of water, Baghdad under fifteen, and kill 500,000 Iraqis. 

"Look at this way, it's Al-Qaeda with a weapon of mass destruction"​ (Video via

But that's not enough for ISIS, a group that enforces a "convert or die" policy that has forced many religious minorities to flee

The UN refugee agency said on Thursday that up to 10,000 people have fled from the predominantly Christian communities of Qaraqosh fearing they may become a target. 

Their policy has been most brutally applied to the Yazidi people, a small ethnic community whose faith descends from Zoroastrianism. 

"Mr. Speaker, we are being slaughtered under the banner of 'there is no god but Allah'. Mr. Speaker, until now 500 Yazidi men have been slaughtered." 

That speech, given by a Yazidi member of the Iraqi parliament, if anything, understates the dire straits of the Yazidi in the Islamic State. 

After being driven out of their homes in Kurdish territory, an estimated 40,000 Yazidis are dying of hunger and thirst in nearby mountains, trapped there by ISIS militants. 

"This woman says we and our children ran away to save our lives and left everything behind." 

"We prefer to die because of thirst and hunger, this woman says, rather than change our faith." 

The United Nations says the situations in the region amounts to a genocide — leadingtodemands for help from the United States. 

"The Kurds are now saying we cannot do this alone, we need help from the Americans." 

ABC reports humanitarian airdrops have already been authorized by President Obama. 

Meanwhile, one White House official has said airstrikes against ISIS are being considered. 

​This video includes an image from AliHaidar Khan/CC 3.0