— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) May 11, 2016
With the threats of the Mosul Dam breaking and spilling water all across Iraq, Italy has sent soldiers to protect engineers as the dam is repaired and maintained.
The dam sits 35 kilometers to the north of the city of Mosul, where over 2 million people live. If the dam bursts, up to 1.5 million people could die and over 6 million could be affected.
In July of 2014, the Islamic State managed to take the dam from the Kurdish Peshmerga. Before its capture, workers fled the dam to escape the rule of the Islamic State. The Peshmerga later recaptured the dam with the help of the Iraqi military. The workers have yet to return to the dam, under fears of the Islamic State taking the dam back.
The Iraqi government has signed a contract with an Italian firm worth just south of $300 million to repair and protect the dam from the Islamic State.
500 Italian soldiers will be sent alongside the engineers to protect workers from the Islamic State.