Saturday, 20 February 2016

Why Iran-backed Shiite militias are hindering effort to save Mosul Dam in Iraq

February 2016
The Mosul Dam was built on the Tigris River in Iraq, standing with a height of 131 meters and width of 3,400 meters. The maximum water reserving capacity of this dam is 12 billion cubic meters and it cost $1.5 billion at the time and was inaugurated in 1985. Local and international reports have time and again in the past years warned on the possibility of the Mosul Dam crumbling. What is the truth of these warnings and why have such possibilities been raised of the dam crumbling: the first reason is the Mosul Dam was essentially constructed on unstable grounds, and is in need of constant strengthening efforts by injecting cement into its foundation to prevent a possible crumbling. The U.S. Army has described this as the most dangerous dam in the world.

According to news published in Iraqi media recent U.S. President Barack Obama made a telephone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi discussing the possibility the Mosul Dam crumbling leading him to have nightmares and bad dreams.
A “conspiracy theory” is being considered on the measures that can be taken to confront this threat. Following the arrival of U.S. special forces in the Rabiye and al-Ya’rabiye regions of Mosul and talks of around 400 Italian troops arriving under the pretext of protecting an Italian company in charge of preserving the dam, and Turkish forces entering the Ba’shiqe area in Mosul – whom are a part of the NATO forces – means that NATO has begun occupying Iraq from the north, the Iraqi Prime Minister said. Many parties in Iraq will confront such actions, most importantly the ‘Popular Mobilization Forces’ and armed Shiite groups, al-Abadi added.
Iskandar Vetutu, a member of the Iraqi Parliament Defense and Security Commission from the State of Law coalition – Maliki’s party – accused the United States of attempting to station its forces in the Mosul Dam under the pretext of the crumbling crisis.
“If U.S. forces station in the Mosul Dam they will never pull out and no one will be able to force the Turkish forces out of Iraqi soil,” he said, going on to emphasize on the necessity to have experts from neighboring countries, and especially Iran, to help repair and preserve the Mosul Dam.
All Shiite militias and pro-Iran elements inside the Iraqi government have in one voice strongly opposed U.S. presence to protect and repair the Mosul Dam. They have gone as far as calling for the Iranian regime to repair the dam. Remarks made by Vetut clearly shows who is orchestrating the policy of opposing the presence of the United States and European countries to repair the Mosul Dam. Iran has rallied all its elements inside Iraq, including Shiite militias and associated MPs to oppose the presence of the United States and foreign companies, to thus prepare the grounds for its own part in this ordeal. All parties know very well the Iranian regime lacks the any such expertise and technical assets needed in this enormous task. It is not clear the Iraqi Shiite militias and Iran-associated MPs are seeking the interests of their own country, or pursuing a policy dictated by the Iranian regime.

The Mosul Dam crumbling poses a threat for a number of Iraqi cities, the first being Mosul, with the east part of the city being wiped off the face of the map within a few hours. Add Tikrit to the list as water will flood half of the city. Further downstream will be Samara. In Baghdad water will rise to four meters, leading to a major environmental, humanitarian and economic catastrophe.

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