Did ISIS and the Iraqi Government Combine to Create One of the Biggest Potential Disasters in Human History?

It has been proven over and over again in wars that the biggest casualties are not always those that are hit by bullets and bombs. Oftentimes, it is the displaced citizens who become refugees and suffer from the hardships that the lack of food, medical supplies and other supply shortages create. There have also been cases of mass genocide where people are put to death because of their religious beliefs, race or any number of other reasons. The stories over the years have been too many to count and we are seeing things like this still today in Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa. But there may soon be a new twist to how the innocents are killed in war if the Mosul Dam in Iraq gives way soon – as many experts predict.

The Mosul Dam has always had its share of problems since it was first built in 1986 while Iraq was still under the control of Saddam Hussein. It was built on a soluble Gypsum base that requires a constant grouting process; in Lehman’s terms, it needs to have concrete poured almost daily to stabilize the base of the dam. It was originally built to hold back the water from the immense Tigris River that runs through all of Iraq and has a long tradition of serious and deadly flooding.

Why is ISIS partially to blame?

Mosul DamIn 2014, during their massive land grab across Northern Syria and Iraq, in an effort to establish their so called ‘Caliphate,’ ISIS briefly controlled the Mosul Dam too. During this time, all the government workers that had done the massive grouting task ran away and ISIS decided that the equipment used in the grouting process could serve them better building defenses elsewhere. Even though they only held the dam for 6 short weeks, thanks to the Kurdish Peshmerga recapturing it, it was enough to put in motion a set of circumstances that have still not been corrected to this day.

The Iraqi government has been as unstable as the dam in the time they have ruled the country after the Coalition handed control of it back to them following the first free elections after the country was liberated. Even though the dam was liberated, many of the workers who were key players in the grouting process did not return because they had not been paid for several months by the government – even before the takeover of the dam by ISIS. So, for almost two years now, no work has been done to stabilize the dam’s foundation.

Here is the problem. The dam holds back some 300 billion cubic feet of water. That is not an amount of water that you want heading downstream to the heavily populated areas around the cities of Mosul and Baghdad – which the Tigris River runs directly through. It has the potential to create a wave that may reach as high as 45 feet in some places. A recent inspection by the Army Core of Engineers called it the most ‘unsafe’ dam in the world. That is not good news for those who live downstream with the rainy season fast approaching. An Italian firm has been hired to take over the grouting process, but they are still several months away from starting.

Studies show that an estimated 500,000 – 1.5 million Iraqi’s could perish if the dam collapses and another 7 million would be displaced.  That would mean suffering on a biblical scale for the people and economy of Iraq and a humanitarian crisis the world is not ready to cope with at the moment. Let’s pray and keep our fingers crossed that the situation at the dam improves quickly.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Craig Smith

Craig has been writing for several years but just recently made freelance writing a full time profession after leaving behind 26 years working in the swimming pool construction industry. He served four years in the US Air Force as an Imagery Interpreter Specialist in Okinawa, Japan and at SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. As a staunch supporter of law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, firemen, search and rescue personnel and those who serve in the military, Craig is proud to contribute to the US Patriot blog on their behalf.
Craig Smith
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