BAGHDAD — Sunni militants from the Islamic State group Thursday seized Iraq's largest dam, placing them in control of enormous power and water resources and access to the river that runs through the heart of Baghdad.
After a week of attempts, the radical Islamist gunmen successfully stormed the Mosul Dam and forced Kurdish forces to withdraw from the area, residents living near the dam said. They spoke anonymously for safety concerns.
The Islamic State group posted a statement online Thursday, confirming that they had taken control of the dam and vowed to continue "the march in all directions," adding that it will not "give up the great Caliphate project." The group added that it has seized a total of 17 cities, towns and targets, including the dam, over the past five days. The statement could not be verified, but it was posted on a site frequently used by the group.
Halgurd Hekmat, a spokesman for the Peshmerga, said clashes around the dam are ongoing and he does not know who is in control at this point in time.
Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more.