World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Military Planning for Iraqi Flooding Considered

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense

No. 132-03 (703)697-5131(media) IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 21, 2003 (703)428-0711(public/industry)


Department of Defense military planners are considering operational strategies in response to possible flooding by Iraqi military forces. If the Iraqi military releases water into the Tigris River from upstream reservoirs, extensive flooding between Baghdad and Al Kut could occur. Thousands of Iraqis could be displaced, adding to congestion on roads and requiring extensive humanitarian support.

Despite Saddam Hussein's claims to the contrary, historical precedence indicates Iraqi military strategies include the release of water as a viable option for deterring enemy forces. For example, during the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi military created water obstacles to deter Iranian advances.

Iraq's strategy could include releasing a small amount of water from major dams and canals to interrupt maneuvering units. Iraq also could cause catastrophic flooding of portions of the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, either by releasing large amounts of water from dams or by destroying them. The latter could cause major humanitarian crises in parts of Iraq, though Baghdad would experience minimal damage.

Conditions in certain portions of Southern Iraq will get worse as the rainy season and snow melt-off in the north proceed during March and April. Areas currently flooded may be impassible for four to six weeks, even without additional water. The Hussein regime could incorporate the flooding into defensive preparations to slow the advance of coalition forces. This tactic could force coalition units or displaced persons through flooded areas.

The Al Qadisiyah Dam and its Hadiyha Reservoir are the primary water sources for possible strategic flooding. The strategic release of water from five reservoirs-Saddam, Dokan, Al Azim, Darbandikhan and the Diyala-could be initiated to increase the flow rate of the Tigris. Water levels will likely rise in these reservoirs as the rainy season continues.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC