Iraqi gov't denies US report's claim Mosul Dam is near collapse

The Iraqi government on Wednesday rejected the findings of a US oversight panel that a dam near the northern city of Mosul is on the verge of a collapse that could cause flooding along the Tigris River "all the way to Baghdad." The dam, Iraq's largest, has several problems, including that it was built in the 1980s in an area with sinkholes. Twenty-one contracts have been awarded, totaling $27 million for repair and reinforcement efforts. But the latest quarterly report from Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, found the US effort "has yet to yield significant improvements." More ominously, the October 29 report included a letter from the top two US military and civilian officials in Iraq that warned "a catastrophic failure of Mosul Dam would result in flooding along the Tigris River all the way to Baghdad."