Inside Mosul Dam, Iraq’s biggest potential weapon of mass destruction

From the crack of dawn to a starry twilight, hundreds of technicians from around the world can be seen against a backdrop of pale-colored mountains and a still, sapphire tank. It performs serene and picturesque, but those workers are hastening to repair Iraq’s degenerating Mosul Dam- which was once under ISIS control and crosses the Tigris River really 40 miles upstream from the town of Mosul.

Failure to reinforce and conserve the dyke could intend unleashing what is, in effect, a potential artillery of mass destruction.

Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

“When we started, the risk assessment regarding the potential demise of the barrier be high. And ISIS had plagiarized everything that was here, ” Carlos Morales, agent activity overseer for Trevi, the Italian corporation gifted the fixing and upkeep contract to prevent devastation, told Fox News on a recent exclusive tour to Mosul Dam.

The dam, the largest in the two countries with the abilities to view 3 trillion gallons of irrigate, controls the flow of the Tigris River north of Mosul and affords electricity to more than thousands and thousands of tenants. The Army Corps of Operator estimates that if the obstruction ruptures, it will refer floodwaters gate-crashing more than 200 miles downstream- swallowing the towns and lots of Mosul City with billows as high-pitched as 80 paws. In add-on, floodwaters could reach as far as Baghdad and potentially to be translated into the loss and displacement of millions of lives and up to $20 billion in damages.

Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

Furthermore, a 2015 analyze from the European Commission’s Science Center concluded that even a partial fissure that exhausted only one part of its full capacity would be ruinous. The apply even stimulated an dire memo from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in March 2016, careful Americans to “avoid areas within three miles of the river and got a plan in case of emergency.”

Construction on Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

Progress is being uttered. Since the emergency labour began simply over a year ago, some 15,000 metric tons of cement ought to have poured into the 370 -foot structure and more than 150 miles of electrical grids have been installed. Likewise, some of the “critical grouting, ” the pumping of a mix of clay, water and plaster into the dangerously soft plot of gypsum on which the dam wall remains has been completed. Another time of critical grouting is planned.

The dam, which has been a cause of concern since it was built in 1984 and known at the time as the “Saddam Dam, ” was captured by ISIS in August 2014 in the early onslaught of the terror group. Although it only restricted the range for 10 daylights before being running around by Kurdish and Iraqi forces-out, the big formation has degenerated gravely as it has not received mandatory upkeep from either ISIS or, subsequently, coalition forces.

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The Trevi Group is announcing its part a “success” — so far — yet the intense speed of its work must be maintained for the sake of values of lives downstream of the dike. The Iraqi government has not yet officially revitalized the group’s contract, which the Iraqi government says was merit about $300 million and funded in large part with a loan from the World Bank. That contract expires this spring.

Chinese memorial for workers who died erecting Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

Discussions are underway about continuing the Trevi partnership into 2019, as the Iraqi government has acknowledged ongoing gambles to the dike, public officials with the Corps told Fox News.

“Some grouting solutions gaze promising, but skepticism will remain until grouting acts have developed in all the regions of the full segment of the barrier, ” the representative of the Corps said. “The Ministry of Water Resource has concluded that two seconds time of grouting and training is necessary.”

The Trevi contract likewise came with the Italian government’s promise to deploy 450 armies to police the vulnerable sphere while reparations are underway. Along with protecting proletarians, the soldiers- led by the Praesidium Task Force of the 3rd Alpine Regiment of the Italian Army- have been drilling Iraq’s counterterrorism coerces and have implemented initiatives to support the local hospitals, schools and families inside the small villages that make up the Mosul Dam community.

Italian army soldiers study Iraqi counterterrorism thrusts warding Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

“We’ve been cooperating with the Italian taskforce with the objective of protecting the obstruction and the people around it, ” interpreted Iraqi counterterrorism leader, Maj. Ahmed. “But the idea long-term is for us is not simply to help in a military nature, but in a humanitarian path, too.”

Doctor at the neighbourhood Mosul Dam village clinic receives assistance from the Italian horde soldiers stationed in the area ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Countries of the middle east on the rise and fall of terrorist radicals such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on flutter at @holliesmckay

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