Seagulls, fish, frogs

Poisoning of Mosul Dam waters kills scores of wildlife

DUHOK — Scores of fish, birds, and amphibious animals have died following an incident involving the suspected poisoning of the waters of Mosul Dam near the villages of Kamuna and Rahmania in Duhok’s Khane subdistrict, authorities reported.

The Peshmerga Environmental Protection Forces in Duhok were alerted to the presence of dead wildlife in the dam’s waters, spokesperson Abdulstar Abdulhamid told 964media. “We were informed about the incident on Friday, where unknown individuals used poisoned wheat and grass in the waters of Mosul Dam near Kamuna and Rahmania villages in the Khanke subdistrict. Their aim was to catch fish, but the poison also killed a large number of seagulls, fish, frogs, and other wildlife,” Abdulhamid explained.

The identities of the perpetrators remain unknown, but efforts to identify them are underway, utilizing surveillance equipment at the Peshmerga outposts in the area. “Investigations are ongoing,” Abdulhamid added.

Zardasht Sheikh Shamo, the head of the Khane subdistrict, mentioned to 964media that they were not initially informed of the incident but are now committed to imposing severe punishments on those found responsible. “We will cooperate closely with the marine police and conduct a thorough investigation to identify the culprits. We have requested the establishment of an Environmental Protection Peshmerga checkpoint in Khane to minimize such incidents and monitor the area,” Sheikh Shamo stated.

Miad Kochar, a marine police officer in Khanke, noted that the incident’s location is remote, covering over 100 km of the area. According to Kochar, there are several Peshmerga outposts in this area, which conduct regular patrols. However, the recent heavy rains provided the perpetrators with the opportunity to commit their crime under cover of adverse weather conditions.

Mosul Dam, Iraq’s largest dam on the Tigris River, began construction in 1980 and was completed in 1986. It stands 113 meters high and 3.4 kilometers long, with the capacity to store nearly 8 billion cubic meters of water and a maximum capacity of 11 billion cubic meters. The dam is crucial for providing drinking water and irrigation to the region