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Iraq forces retake Mosul Dam; militants deny claim

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 18, 2014 at 8:50 a.m.

BAGHDAD — Boosted by two days of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces on Monday wrested back control of the country's largest dam from Islamic militants, a military spokesman in Baghdad said as fighting was reported to be under way for the rest of the strategic complex.

Soon after the news broke, the Islamic State group, which two weeks ago captured the Mosul Dam spanning the Tigris River just north of the city of Mosul, denied the claim, insisting it was still in control of the facility.

The retaking of the dam would mark the first major victory for the Iraqi and Kurdish forces battling the Islamic militants since U.S. airstrikes began earlier this month.

Army spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said the dam itself was secured by Kurdish peshmerga troops and Iraqi security forces Monday but that the southern side of the complex remains contested and that fierce fighting is under way to free that area.

At least 170 bombs have been dismantled around the dam but many more remain, al-Moussawi added in a televised statement.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more.


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