September 15, 2015

ISIS Turns off Euphrates River Spigot

You behead a guy, he's dead. You shut down a damn in the middle of a desert? Every one downstream dies:

ISIS has been blocking the flow of the Euphrates River from Syria in a renewed bid to turn the vital waterway into a strategic weapon against the Iraqi government.

“ISIS closed the Tabqa Dam in Syria almost a week ago, causing the water level of the Euphrates River to drop in Anbar’s towns,” a member of the Anbar Provincial Council said Sunday.

Hamid al-Dulaimi warned in an interview with Iraqi Kurdish Bas News that the closure poses a “disaster to Anbar and other provinces” in Iraq.

Meanwhile, a source close to ISIS told Al-Jazeera that the group was using its control over the dams to “put pressure on the Iraqi government as part of the open war between it and the group.”
And it's not just the lack of water. Cutting off the river's flow has meant that hydroelectric production downstream is slowly being choked off. Oh, and sewage treatment plants are failing.

So, Iraq has that to look forward to.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:00 PM | Comments |