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Kurdish Forces Retake Mosul Dam, Deal Blow To ISIS

Kurdish forces have retaken Mosul Dam, which is a major supplier of water and electricity to Northern Iraq, with the help of U.S. airstrikes.
Posted at 7:10 PM, Aug 17, 2014

Kurdish forces have reportedly retaken a key facility from ISIS militants.

The BBC reports that the Kurdish military is claiming full control of the Mosul Dam, which ISIS has held since August 7. The facility supplies water and electricity to northern Iraq, and could have been used to flood areas downstream.

Kurdish forces are working to remove land mines and booby traps from the area around the dam, which could take several hours.

Sunday's push for the dam was aided by U.S. airstrikes, which helped slow ISIS movement in the region.

President Obama has caught some criticism for his response to the latest crisis in Iraq. Some say this latest increase in airstrikes is mostly just destroying American vehicles and weapons ISIS seized from Iraqi security forces. 

However, The New York Times writes that Kurdish forces are badly in need of U.S. help after losing significant ground to ISIS advances in the last month.

Obama has said in the past that U.S. involvement won't go farther than airstrikes and he does not plan to send troops into Iraq on the ground.

But lawmakers including New York congressman Eliot Engel say it might be time to do more.

 "I think what we're doing now is effective – we've got to do more of it. And ultimately we may have some boots on the ground there. It's not something I want, but you know what -- we have bad choices. The worst choice is to do nothing."

The BBC has called the Kurdish recapture of the Mosul dam ISIS' biggest setback since the militant group began its Iraq offensive in June. 

This video contains images from Getty Images and Mauricio Macri / CC BY ND 2.0.