Destruction of dams_ will is carry through with its threats_ _ middle east eye

These two dams together supply more than 70 per cent of Iraq’s electricity and control water flow to millions of people. 935 gas block IS also battled to seize smaller dams at Ramadi and Falluja.

IS has repeatedly used dams it’s captured as weapons of war, flooding lands to deter Iraqi government forces or shutting off supplies to areas opposed to the group.

While all major dams in Iraq are now back in government or Kurdish-Peshmerga hands, Baghdad faces a looming problem at the Mosul facility, often referred to as the most dangerous dam in the world.

The Mosul Dam, opened in the mid 1980s, was a pet project of Saddam Hussein, designed to enhance his power and prestige in Mosul and the surrounding area. Current electricity definition physics Constructed on a base of soft, porous earth, it went ahead despite serious reservations from Iraqi and international engineers about the suitability of the site.

The dam – formerly known as the Saddam Dam – needs constant grouting and cementing to prevent serious leakages and collapse. Electricity 2015 A 2007 report by the US Army’s Corps of Engineers expressed “intense concern about the safety of the structure.”

In recent years there have been apocalyptic forecasts that the collapse of the Mosul dam would do far more damage than IS ever could. No electricity jokes Many observers believe it would create a 20-metre high wave in the city of Mosul 50 km to the south, killing at least half-a-million people, with floodwaters rushing down the Tigris Valley, wreaking havoc in the cities of Tikrit, Samarra and Baghdad. Gas mask art Earlier this year the US embassy in Baghdad issued warnings about the imminent collapse of the facility. Electricity gif How politics complicates repair of dam

But the Iraqi government has generally downplayed fears about Mosul. Online electricity bill payment Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister, said earlier this year that a collapse at the dam was “very unlikely” while Iraqi engineers now stationed there told the Kurdish news agency that there was no cause for alarm: concerns about a breach at Mosul were based on rumours, they said.

Meanwhile, in March this year the Italian Trevi construction group was awarded a 273m euro contract by Baghdad to oversee repairs to the dam.

Tobias von Lossow is a specialist on water projects in the Middle East at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs ( SWP), who has written extensively on IS and its control of water resources.

“Maybe the Mosul Dam is not the most dangerous in the world but it certainly is in a very disastrous condition,” he said. Gas zone pricing “The risk of a breach is very high. M gastrocnemius medialis Not only is it leaking but some of the gates on one side of the dam are not working, placing great pressure on the other side of the structure.”

Von Lossow pointed out that even though IS forces no longer control the dam itself, to a large extent they dominate the surrounding areas where gravel and other materials needed for work at the dam are found.

“You can’t make the necessary cement – and lots of it is needed to constantly inject into the structure – without access to those areas,” he says.

The whole issue of the Mosul Dam is, inevitably, complicated by politics. La gasolina The Italians want a substantial contingent of their troops to guard engineers working at the facility. 9gag tv The Iraqi government – and particularly the more conservative elements in the political structure – are firmly opposed to having foreign, western troops on the ground. Gas meter in spanish Dam used as a hostage prison

At present IS controls the Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates – Syria’s largest dam – and the smaller Baath Dam 18km downstream. Monroe la gas prices Tabqa, built with help from the Soviet Union during the 1970s, is, in many ways, the jewel in the IS crown, feeding electricity to southeastern Syria, including its stronghold of Raqqa, 30km to the east, and water to much of northern Iraq.

Tabqa is fed by the 75km-long Lake Assad, Syria’s biggest reservoir. Electricity powerpoint template There are reports that IS uses the dam complex as both a base for some of its leading officials and a prison for its more important hostages:

There are concerns about how competently IS runs and maintains dams it controls: last year a Syrian rebel force, allied with Syrian Kurds, fought to take control of Tishrin dam, also on the Euphrates, from IS.

“Engineers were surprised to find IS had let the reservoir behind the dam fill almost to its maximum, creating dangerous pressure on the structure” says SWP’s von Lossow. Gas ks “It’s clear IS doesn’t have the manpower and expertise to properly run such facilities.”

‘Engineers were surprised to find IS had let the reservoir behind the dam fill almost to its maximum, creating dangerous pressure on the structure’

When IS first took control of Tabqa and other dams on the Euphrates, it gained popular support by increasing power output to areas it controlled both in Syria and Iraq. Electricity office near me Villages and towns which had been neglected by the authorities for years received electricity.

But running dams and power supplies is a complex business: IS was forced to cut back power output at Tabqa as water levels in Lake Assad dropped dramatically.

“The great danger is that as IS is squeezed out of more of its territory, there’s the possibility it could make a dramatic last stand at Tabqa and blow up the dam as a final act. Types of electricity generation methods That would lead to a catastrophe, both for Syria and Iraq.”

– Kieran Cooke is a former foreign correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times, and continues to contribute to the BBC and a wide range of international newspapers and radio networks.