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www.wmfd.com - In Iraq, a fierce ground battle is underway for control of a vital hydro-electric dam, as Kurdish Peshmerga forces say they've taken over the eastern side of Mosul Dam. }}" />

   
 
 
Iraq Army's Fight For Mosul Dam

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 8/19/2014

In Iraq, a fierce ground battle is underway for control of a vital hydro-electric dam. Kurdish Peshmerga forces say they've taken over the eastern side of Mosul Dam. But the hugely important structure is still controlled by extremists of the "Islamic State" or ISIS. CNN's Anna Coren was embedded with the Peshmerga, and she explains what they're up against. Black smoke billows on the horizon as heavy artillery and missiles pummel the enemy line. Peshmerga Special Forces waging an intensive ground operation against ISIS as U.S. fighter jets and predator drones patrol the skies. Their mission: to take back Mosul Dam, captured by militants earlier this month. A critical piece of hydroelectric infrastructure, that if sabotaged, could let loose a wall of water that would hit the cities of Mosul and possibly Baghdad and everything in between, killing countless lives. Cammander Mansur Barzani, son of the Kurdish President, is in charge of the Special Forces and this operation. "It's very important and we believe our Peshmerga can get it back because this is very dangerous if it's in the hands of terrorist dasch," says Commander Mansur Barzani of Peshmerga Special Forces. As the offensive continues, ISIS eventually retreats, but in their wake, leave IED's and landmines scattered on the road, across the fields and inside buildings. The Peshmerga are finally allowing us to travel to where they were hitting ISIS targets," says Coren. "We can still see smoke rising from buildings. We've been told we're not allowed to get out of the car because of the risk of landmines planted by ISIS," says Coren. But once we reach the secured area, hundreds of Peshmerga gather, ready for the next offensive. Some showing off their achievements on the battlefield. "So you're showing us photos of ISIS militants killed earlier today," says Coren. But within minutes, another explosion. This is the area where Peshmerga were battling ISIS, we're about 15 kilometers as the crow flies to Mosul Dam. This convoy was heading there when one of the trucks hit an IED, injuring many soldiers. We later learn one of the soldiers died. As they begin to create the next defensive position, closer to their target, an American Humvee seized by ISIS sits in ruins on the dusty plains. The result of a U.S. airstrike, giving these longtime warriors the reassurance they need to take the fight to ISIS, aggressively on the battleground.

   
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