MOSUL DAM, Iraq - Kurdish soldiers who drove ISIS fighters from Iraq’s most important dam thanked the U.S. for helping dislodge the jihadist fighters who have rampaged across the country in recent months. “Thank you, America,” said some of the troops who - backed up by American fighter jets and drones - fought to regain control of the hydroelectric dam that supplies power and water to millions.
On Tuesday, the dam and its surrounding area were littered with destroyed ISIS vehicles and under the control of Kurdish fighters - who rode in an armored convoy and flashed victory signs. U.S. warplanes remained in the skies. Kurdish intelligence chief Masrour Barzani, the son of the president of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, described the dam as a “nuclear weapon,” and said retaking it had prevented a calamity. The victorious Kurdish fighters noted that the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) had possessed “more expensive” weapons than they had.
- Bill Neely
First published August 19 2014, 5:06 AM