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The Mosel dam is the fourth largest in terms of reservoir capacity in the Middle East with a capacity of 3 trillion gallons or 11.1 billion cubic meters. It is a key component of Iraq’s power grid and source of water for irrigation. It is located 31 miles north of the city of Mosul whose population is 1.7 million and 200 miles north of Bagdad. A dam collapse would release the 360 feet high waterline and reach Mosul in 2 hours.
A USACE official wrote a report in 2011 that was published in Water Power magazine estimating that dam failure could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths.
In 2007, General Petraeus wrote a letter to the Iraqi PM warning of the safety concerns in the report and the consequences should the dam fail. In paraphrasing the USACE report, his letter said that “despite continuous grouting… the safety of the dam cannot be assured”. He went on to say that “…an instantaneous failure….could result in a flood wave 65 feet deep at the city of Mosul... and produce flooding all the way to Baghdad”.
The Islamic State group (IS) has executed 700 people from a Syrian tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria over the past two weeks, the majority of whom were civilians, a Syrian monitoring group said Saturday. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has consistently tracked violence on both sides of the three-year-old Syrian civil war have said that around 700 members of the al-Sheitaat tribe, from the Deir al-Zor province, have been executed and that many of them were beheaded by IS jihadists. "Those who were executed are all al-Sheitaat," Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman told Reuters by telephone from Britain. "Some were arrested, judged and killed."