Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mosul's dam crumbling, Ash Carter in Iraq

NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY reports MP Zainab Arif Basri made a statement to the press yesterday on the state of the Mosul dam, declaring that cracks in the dam -- especially in the foundation -- are putting it at risk of collapse.  She called on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to address the situation with "urgent action."  She is an MP with the State of Law coaltion (Nouri al-Maliki's coalition).

Though Haider al-Abadi has yet to publicly comment on Basri's call, there is some action on the issue.  AFP reports:

Italy is to send 450 troops to defend Iraq’s strategic Mosul dam, near the city occupied by ISIS fighters, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced.

The dam on the Tigris river, built by a German-Italian consortium in the 1980s and in which Italian company Trevi still has an interest, is a vital water and power source for Mosul, Iraq’s largest northern city.

They may arrive in time to protect the dam (they may not) but they probably won't arrive in time for Ash Carter.

Yesterday, the US Secretary of Defense was in Turkey.

  1. A F-15 Strike Eagle sits after landing at Incirlik Air Base (Turkey) to join OIR/Counter- missions
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  2. Carter visited US and coalition airmen at today and observed F15s, F16s, and an A10 up close.
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Today, Lolita C. Baldor (AP) explains, he's in Iraq where weather may impact his travel and who he is able to meet face-to-face with.

Also in the news is a kidnapping.

Details everyone seems to agree on is that a group of Qataris were hunting in Iraq when they were kidnapped.

Other than that?

Note the conflict in these two Tweets by the same person:

  • source: 16 Qataris among them an Emir were hunting in the desert of Al-Muthana southern , militants in military uniform +

  • Militants in military uniform have kidnapped 16 Qataris in desert , reportedly including a cousin of the Emir

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