EDGARTOWN – The White House on Sunday said that US President Barack Obama had informed Congress he authorised air strikes in Iraq to help retake control of the Mosul Dam, and the action was consistent with his goal of protecting US citizens in that country.
"The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, threaten US personnel and facilities - including the US embassy in Baghdad - and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace," the White House said in a statement.
"These operations are limited in their nature, duration, and scope and are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the government of Iraq." The Mosul Dam fell under the control of the Islamic State militants earlier this month.
Control of the dam, Iraq's biggest, could give the militants ability to flood cities and cut off vital water and electricity supplies. The US Central Command said that the US conducted a second day of air strikes against Islamic State fighters near the dam, using a mix of fighter, bomber, attack and remotely-piloted aircraft.