- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Islamic State group has found a way to harness the power of the Euphrates River and use it to aid its allies in Ramadi.

Members of the Sunni radical terrorist groups are using a dam in western Iraq to change the flow of the river and alter Ramadi’s battlefield. Islamic State captured the city May 17 and has been building up defenses for a counterattack by government security forces and Iran-backed militias.

The Islamic State’s control of the Euphrates pressures government forces to expend additional resources to keep terrorists from entering the city.

“Previously [Iraqi security forces] had to monitor only the bridges and certain areas, but now all of the river will be crossable,” said Hikmat Suleiman, a spokesman for the governor of Anbar province, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Falih al-Essawi, a senior provincial security official, told Reuters that it was incumbent upon the Iraqi government to address the situation as soon as possible.

“The government must act immediately otherwise dire consequences and an environmental catastrophe will be inevitable,” Mr. al-Essawi said, Reuters reported.

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