March 4, 2016: The Islamic State terrorist group has taken control of 6 of the eight major dams in Syria and Iraq which they are using to exercise control over residents. The 6 dams are on the river Euphrates and Tigris and reports show that the militants are continuously attacking a seventh dam.
According to water and environment experts, ISIS is using water as a weapon in two phases; damming the river to retain water and dry up certain regions, thereby cutting off the water supply to villages and communities. On the other hand, it has also flooded areas to drive away their inhabitants and to destroy their livelihoods.
ISIS are adopting on of the oldest war technique-water warfare that was first witnessed in WWI and pursuing environmental warfare. The militants with water-dams control is very dangerous seeing as they can exploit it in a systemic way as they are currently doing or my contaminating and poisoning the water making it a very lethal mass destruction weapon.
The water warfare in itself is very dangerous and with ISIS in control of the major dams, the pressure mounted on them by the US-led coalition Anti-ISIS campaign that has weakened the militants could topple the use of water as a weapon of mass destruction especially since the dams are on some of the largest rivers.