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Will faulty dam leave Mosul in deep water?

As maintenance work continues to ensure the structure stays strong, those residing near the Mosul dam live in fear of both flood waters and the terror group.
Employees work at strengthening the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari - RTX25B5A
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MOSUL DAM, Iraq — The day Al-Monitor visited the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, a team of engineers from Baghdad was making topographical measurements on the side of the site facing the lake. “Well, at first glance there seems to be no problem," Ali Faisal, a surface engineer, said. On the other side of the dam, ducks swim in the sun, lulled by the lapping water and whispering wind. If it weren’t for the sound of heavy machines drilling a soil so unstable it could kill thousands, the scene would be idyllic.

The Mosul Dam, formerly known as Saddam Dam, may have become a greater threat than the self-styled Islamic State (IS); that is, if one refers to the alarming warnings sent by US officials to their Iraqi counterparts. On Feb. 28, the US Embassy in Baghdad issued a frightening statement proclaiming that the Mosul Dam, Iraq’s largest, “faces a serious and unprecedented risk of catastrophic failure with little warning.”

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