ISIS claims gains, takes control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam
(CNN) — Fighters with the militant group the Islamic State reached the triangle border between Iraq, Syria and Turkey, it said in a message posted on Twitter on Sunday.
ISIS took control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam on Iraq’s Tigris River, which provides power to the city of Mosul about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the south, the commander of the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters who had been defending the facility said Sunday.
The dam workers remained inside the facility, which fell after a 24-hour battle, Lt. Col. Herash said.
Peshmerga Kurdish fighters also pulled out of the towns of Zumar and Wana after being surrounded by ISIS fighters and isolated from any support, Kurdistan Democratic Party regional official Ismat Rajab told CNN on Sunday.
The United Nations in Iraq warned that 200,000 civilians were trapped in a dire circumstances after ISIS and associated armed groups “seized control of nearly all of Sinjar and Tal Afar districts in Ninewa Province, including the oil fields of Ain Zala and Batma, bordering the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”
Most of the refugees are from the Yezidi sect and have fled to Jabal Sinjar, the United Nations said.
“The humanitarian situation of these civilians is reported as dire, and they are in urgent need of basic items including food, water and medicine. An unknown number of civilians are also reported to have moved towards Dahuk and Zako in the Kurdistan Region.”
ISIS took control of Sinjar, a small town inhabited by the Yezidi sect, on Saturday, according to police officials.
An ISIS Twitter posting linked to a statement referencing “the battle of opening the borderline between state of Ninawa and Dohuk provinces.”
“The Islamic Caliphate legions have launched since this morning” operations towards the northwestern regions bordering state of Nineveh,” the statement said. “God facilitated for the mujahedeen to break into many important areas controlled by the Kurdish gangs and secular militias.”
By Alan Duke
CNN’s Hamdi Alkhshali and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.