The United States Air Force is reportedly stepping up its operations in Iraq against ISIS (also known as the Islamic State), as it pounds positions near to the Haditha Dam in the west of Iraq.
The dam, which is the second-largest in the country, is of vital strategic importance as it controls the flow of the Tigris River. ISIS are close to it; if they were to take the dam, they could potentially carry out a huge terror attack by destroying it in order to flood and devastate Iraqi towns and cities downstream.
Last month, ISIS took control of the Mosul dam, which is Iraq’s biggest. They were later forced out by a US bombing campaign which backed up Kurdish Peshmerga forces from the air.
ABC News reported today that the Obama administration has launched a campaign of airstrikes throughout northern Iraq in an attempt to protect “US interests” and vulnerable refugees from ISIS advances through the country.
AP reported that 133 strikes have been carried out since the campaign began at the beginning of August.
Joining the fray is Canada, which feel it’s high-time to do something about the militant Islamist threat in the Middle East. Canada understands that if the threat is not contained now it will find its way back home as Canadian citizens who fought on behalf of ISIS and other terror groups return.
RT.com reported earlier today that at a NATO conference Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper said several dozen “military advisers” have been sent to the region. some 50-100 personnel have arrived their recently.
Harper said about his government’s decision to send troops to Iraq, “Canada is joining its allies in providing critical advice to forces in northern Iraq as they continue to hold back the terrorist advance.”
Although Harper did note that, while the Canadian campaign was low-risk, relatively speaking, the deployment of Canadians to the region was not “without risk.,” adding that, “The Canadian military and the personnel who join exist to take on reasonable risks in defense of their country’s interests and that’s what they’re doing in this situation.”
The impact the new Canadian troops in Iraq can only be minimal. The United States and NATO are now struggling to put together a comprehensive strategy to deal with the ISIS threat in Iraq and Syria. This will probably prove to be a vain attempt to prevent it spreading to Europe and further afield.