Sunni radicals with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claim to have taken control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam.
The Mosul Dam, which sits on the Tigris River, could cause damage as far as 280 miles away if ISIL decides to use it as a weapon, experts say.
“It’s a horrendous prospect,” Daniel Pipes, the president of the Middle East Forum, told CNN. “If you control the Mosul Dam, you can threaten just about everybody.”
Another fear is that the dam could break simply due to ISIL’s ignorance of the structure. Business Insider reported Tuesday that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers believes the dam is “inherently unstable,” increasing the likelihood that the terrorist group may inadvertently bring about a catastrophic flood.
The terrorist group’s claims were confirmed by a commander of Peshmerga Kurdish soldiers who had been defending the structure roughly 30 miles south of Baghdad, CNN reported.