Iraq’s Mosul dam could face catastrophic collapse -top U.S. general
The black flags of jihadist group Islamic State flew over the Mosul dam - AFP

BAGHDAD: The U.S. military has a contingency plan to deal with a potential collapse of Mosul dam in northern Iraq which would be catastrophic, the top U.S. general in Iraq said on Thursday.

U.S. Army Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland said Iraqi authorities understood “the potential” for the collapse of the hydroelectric dam, whose foundation requires constant grouting to maintain structural integrity.

“The likelihood of the dam collapsing is something we are trying to determine right now … all we know is when it goes, it’s going to go fast and that’s bad,” MacFarland, head of the U.S.-led coalition bombing Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, told reporters in Baghdad.

Islamic State insurgents seized the dam for two weeks in mid-2014, sparking fears they might blow it up and unleash a wall of water on Mosul and Baghdad that could kill thousands of civilians.


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