Iraq's Mosul Dam is in critical danger of collapse, according to United States Embassy in Baghdad. Completed in 1986, during the reign of dictator Saddam Hussein, the dam is built on an unstable karst structure, which required continuous injection of grouting material into the dam's base structure.
During the battle for control of the dam, in July and August of 2014, ISIL forces stole or disabled all of the grout injection equipment; as a result, the dam has become increasingly unstable. Kurdish Peshmerga forces - who drove ISIL away from the dam in 2014 - do not possess the resources to resume dam maintenance, prompting an urgent press release from the embassy over the stability of the structure.
A sudden, catastrophic failure of this dam would release a wall of water up to 14 meters (c.46 feet) high, that would inundate Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city in roughly four hours, and would begin flooding the capital of Baghdad, itself in a little over three days (with a predicted water level still over 10 meters/30+feet), placing nearly one and a half million Iraqi's at risk of drowning, or being forced to flee, exacerbating an already devastating situation.
The Iraqi government has retained Italian construction firm the Trevi Group to begin emergency repairs to the dam - still protected by Kurdish Peshmerga forces - and states that it does have an emergency plan in place in the event of a catastrophic failure.