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

From the crack of dawn to a starry twilight, hundreds of technicians from around the world can be seen against a backdrop of pale-colored mountains and a still, sapphire reservoir. It appears serene and picturesque, but those workers are scurrying to repair Iraq’s degenerating Mosul Dam- which was once under ISIS control and crosses the Tigris River exactly 40 miles upstream from the city of Mosul.

Failure to reinforce and continue the dyke could necessitate unleashing what is, in fact, a possible artillery of mass destruction.

Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

“When we started, the risk assessment regarding the potential fate of the dam be high. And ISIS had embezzled everything that was here, ” Carlos Morales, representative projection overseer for Trevi, the Italian company gifted the mend and maintenance contract to prevent calamity, told Fox News on a recent exclusive visit to Mosul Dam.

The dam, the most significant in the country with the abilities to hold 3 trillion gallons of water, controls the flow of the Tigris River north of Mosul and gives energy to more than thousands and thousands of residents. The Army Corps of Operator estimates that if the dike severs, it will route floodwaters hurtling more than 200 miles downstream- swallowing villages and much of Mosul City with billows as high-pitched as 80 paws. In addition, floodwaters could reach as far as Baghdad and potentially to be translated into the loss and dislocation of millions of lives and up to $20 billion in damages.

Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

Furthermore, a 2015 subject from the European Commission’s Science Center concluded that even a partial fissure that released merely one one-quarter of its full ability would be terrible. The refer even prompted an pressing memoranda from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in March 2016, cautioning Americans to “avoid areas within three miles of the river and have a plan in case of emergency.”

Construction on Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

Progress is being moved. Since the emergency operate began exactly over a year ago, some 15,000 metric tons of cement have been moved into the 370 -foot structure and more than 150 miles of electrical grids have been installed. Also, some of the “critical grouting, ” the pumping of a mixture of clay, ocean and plaster into the dangerously soft bottom of gypsum on which the dike wall remains has been completed. Another time of crucial 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 captured by ISIS in August 2014 in the early onslaught of the horror group. Even though it is merely controlled the field for 10 days before being run out by Kurdish and Iraqi makes, the massive organization has deteriorated poorly as it has not received obligatory maintenance from either ISIS or, subsequently, coalition forces.

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The Trevi Group is calling its drive a “success” — so far — yet the intense speed of the work of the session must be maintained for the sake of composes of lives downstream of the dike. 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 large part with a credit from the World Bank. That contract expires this spring.

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

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

“Some grouting ensues gaze promising, but confusion will remain until grouting attempts have developed across the full span of the obstruction, ” the representative of the Corps said. “The Ministry of Water Assets consider that a second 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 neighbourhood while reparations are underway. Along with protecting workers, the soldiers- led by the Praesidium Task Force of the 3rd Alpine Regiment of the Italian Army- ought to have developing Iraq’s counterterrorism forces and have implemented initiatives to support the neighbourhood infirmaries, schools and families inside the small villages that make up the Mosul Dam community.

Italian infantry soldiers drill Iraqi counterterrorism personnels policing Mosul Dam ( Fox News/ Hollie McKay)

“We’ve been cooperating with the Italian taskforce with the objective of protecting the barrier and the person or persons around it, ” explained Iraqi counterterrorism leader, Maj. Ahmed. “But the idea long-term is for us not only to help in a military lane, but in a humanitarian style, too.”

Doctor at the neighbourhood Mosul Dam hamlet clinic receives assistance provided by the Italian legion 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 Countries of the middle east on the rise and fall of terrorist radicals such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on quaver at @holliesmckay

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