ISIS Seizes Four West Iraq Towns, Advances on Key Dam

Rebels Approach Key Hydroelectric Dam

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is expanding its control over the Anbar Province today, seizing four more towns, including the border town of al-Qaim along the main highway into Syria.

Control over al-Qaim will give ISIS even more control over the border between Iraq and Syria, though at this point they control so much of both sides of the border that the boundary itself is virtually meaningless.

Another import capture today was the town of Rawah on the Euphrates, which is close to the important city of Haditha, likely to be another target in the near term.

Haditha is the home of the Haditha hydroelectric dam, which produces 1,000 megawatts of power, and is a key portion of Iraq’s electrical grid. In addition to giving ISIS some control over energy generation, control of the dam would allow them to flood regions downstream.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.