MOSUL DAM, Iraq - American warplanes helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces dislodge Islamist militants from a key dam in a fierce battle that stretched across at least 30 miles on Monday. U.S. jets roared overhead and pushed back Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) who have been threatening the Washington-backed government in Baghdad. Smoke billowed from three positions around the dam complex, and a village ten miles from it was shrouded in smoke. New explosions could be heard every few minutes.
Several of ISIS' vehicles were destroyed -- including at least one that had clearly been hit by an airstrike. A building at an ISIS checkpoint was also flattened. After Kurdish fighters fired four rockets, militants fired back three shells that landed about 80 yards from NBC News' position. While Kurdish fighters claimed they had taken control of the area around the dam, fighting continued as ISIS retreated. The dam, which is Iraq's largest, spans the Tigris River. Earlier, The Associated Press quoted an Iraqi army spokesman as saying that at least 170 bombs had been dismantled around the site.
- Bill Neely
First published August 18 2014, 6:49 AM