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

From the crack of dawn to a starry darknes, the thousands of technicians from around the world can be seen against a background of pale-colored elevations and a still, sapphire basin. It appears serene and picturesque, but those workers are racing to repair Iraq’s languishing Mosul Dam- which was once under ISIS control and crosses the Tigris River only 40 miles upstream from the city of Mosul.

Failure to reinforce and retain the barrier could intend unleashing what is, in effect, a possible weapon of mass destruction.

Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

“When we started, the risk assessment regarding the potential fate of the obstruction be high. And ISIS had plagiarized everything that was here, ” Carlos Morales, deputy activity manager for Trevi, the Italian firm gifted the reparation and upkeep contract to prevent tragedy, told Fox News on a recent exclusive see to Mosul Dam.

The dam, the largest in the country with the abilities to hold 3 trillion gallons of spray, controls the flow of the Tigris River northward of Mosul and affords energy to more than thousands and thousands of citizens. The Army Corps of Engineers is forecast that if the obstruction severs, it will transmit floodwaters gate-crashing more than 200 miles downstream- immersing villages and lots of Mosul City with gesticulates as high-pitched as 80 paws. In additive, floodwaters could reach as far as Baghdad and potentially result in the loss and displacement of millions of lives and up to $20 billion in damages.

Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

Furthermore, a 2015 examine from the European Commission’s Science Center concluded that even a partial fissure that released only one fourth of its full capability would be destructive. The regard even induced an pressing memoranda from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in March 2016, urging 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 cleared. Since the emergency wreak embarked only over a year ago, some 15,000 metric tons of cement ought to have rained into the 370 -foot structure and more than 150 miles of electrical grids have been installed. Too, some of the “critical grouting, ” the pumping of a mixture of clay, liquid and cement into the dangerously soft couch of gypsum on which the dike wall rests 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 was arrested by ISIS in August 2014 in the early onslaught of the fear radical. Although it merely restricted the domain for 10 dates before being run out by Kurdish and Iraqi makes, the big organize has deteriorated cruelly as it does not received mandatory maintenance from either ISIS or, subsequently, coalition forces.

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The Trevi Group is calling its run a “success” — so far — yet the intense tempo of its work must be maintained for the sake of orchestrates of lives downstream of the dyke. The Iraqi government has not yet officially rekindled the group’s contract, which the Iraqi government says was worth about $300 million and funded in massive part with a loan from the World Bank. That contract expires this spring.

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

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

“Some grouting solutions ogle promising, but misgiving will remain until grouting endeavours have progressed in all the regions of the full section of the dam, ” the representative of the Corps said. “The Ministry of Water Resources has concluded that two seconds time of grouting and training is necessary.”

The Trevi contract too came with the Italian government’s promise to deploy 450 armies to ward the vulnerable range while reparations are underway. Along with protecting works, the soldiers- led by the Praesidium Task Force of the 3rd Alpine Regiment of the Italian Army- have been qualifying Iraq’s counterterrorism pressures and have implemented initiatives to support the neighbourhood infirmaries, schools and families inside the small villages that make up the Mosul Dam community.

Italian military soldiers learn Iraqi counterterrorism coerces policing Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

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

Doctor at the local Mosul Dam hamlet clinic receives assistance provided by 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 Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay

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