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Obama confirms recapture of Mosul dam

Militants affiliated with the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, captured the dam on Aug. 6. Obama said that Islamic State control of the facility could have been “catastrophic,” and that, if breached, the dam could have imperiled thousands of lives including U.S. embassy personnel in Baghdad. Since Saturday, the U.S. has carried out 35 of 68 total airstrikes after Obama authorized action Aug. 7. All 35 strikes were in support of Iraqi forces as they attempted to retake the strategic dam, including 15 on Monday alone. The Islamic State has declared a "caliphate" that straddles parts of Syria and Iraq, and has driven an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis from their homes. The insurgents have particularly targeted Shiite Muslims, Turkmen, Yazidis, and Christians. 

Obama said that the U.S. is working to build an international coalition to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq and warned of the dangers posed by the group. 

“ISIL poses a threat to all Iraqis and to the entire region,” he said. “The Iraqi people need to reject them and unite to begin to push them out of the lands that they’ve occupied, as we’re seeing at Mosul Dam.”  

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