"Obama Intervened Over Crumbling Iraqi Dam as U.S. Concern Grew"

"On Jan. 21, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iraq's prime minister in Davos, Switzerland, and handed him a personal note from President Barack Obama pleading for urgent action.

Obama's confidential message to Haider al-Abadi, which was confirmed to Reuters by two U.S. officials and has not been previously reported, was not about Islamic State or Iraq's sectarian divide. It was about a potential catastrophe posed by the dire state of the country's largest dam, whose collapse could unleash a flood killing tens of thousands of people and trigger an environmental disaster.

The president's personal intervention indicates how the fragile Mosul Dam has moved to the forefront of U.S. concerns over Iraq, reflecting fears its failure would also undermine U.S. efforts to stabilize Abadi's government and complicate the war against Islamic State."

Warren Strobel, Jonathan Landay and Phil Stewart reports for Reuters March 22, 2016.

Source: Reuters, 03/25/2016