Reuters reports: Sunni insurgents have reportedly seized control of Iraq’s biggest dam, an oilfield and three more towns after inflicting their first major defeat on Kurdish forces since sweeping across much of northern Iraq in June.
Capture of the electricity-generating Mosul Dam, which was reported by Iraqi state television, could give the forces of the Islamic State (ISIS) the ability to flood Iraqi cities or withhold water from farms, raising the stakes in their bid to topple prime minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shia-led government.
“The terrorist gangs of the Islamic State have taken control of Mosul dam after the withdrawal of Kurdish forces without a fight,” said Iraqi state television of the claimed 24 hour offensive.
Kurdish officials conceded losses to Isis but denied the dam had been surrendered. A Kurdish official in Washington told Reuters the dam was still under the control of Kurdish “peshmerga” troops, although he said towns around the dam had fallen to Isis. [Continue reading…]
Reuters also reports: A major Kurdish militant group called Monday for all Kurds to rise up against Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) fighters in northern Iraq, after the Sunni militants seized Kurdish territory in a dramatic advance.
“All Kurds in the north, east, south and west must rise up against the attack on Kurds in Sinjar (in northern Iraq),” the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a 30-year insurgency against Turkey, said in a statement on it website.