ISIS now controls both dams (shoddily built), and can unleash a 65-foot "tidal wave" on Baghdad whenever they want (or, if they don't stay on the upkeep, when they don't want to!):
As of August 3 newswires report, recent fighting in north and central Iraq results in ISIS fighters taking full control of Iraq's biggest dam at Haditha unopposed by Kurdish fighters who have made a strategic retreat to Kurd territory after losing three towns, and an oilfield to ISIS fighters. The Haditha Dam serving Baghdad, like a smaller dam serving Mosul which fell to ISIS fighters in June, was as early as 2007 identified by the US Special Inspectorate General for Iraq Reconstruction, a Pentagon watchdog, as a critical installation for enemy insurgent attack. This Agency highlighted structural problems at the two earthfill dams, needing constant grouting and backfill to prevent collapse, and warned of the catastrophic possibilities if either of them fell to insurgents - then called Al Qaeda in Iraq. Both of these dams are now in the hands of ISIS.
Due to their construction method and need for constant upkeep, both dams are relatively easy to rupture using only low amounts of well-placed explosives. The Agency warned that total rupture of the Haditha Dam could cause a 65-foot-high tidal wave in Baghdad City.
ISIS now has two powerful bargaining chips in Iraq. Its frankly apocalyptic general theory of forcing its Grand Caliphate into being would be served by the total destruction of Baghdad if the city and el-Maliki's government do not submit. In no way avoiding the Apocalypse but welcoming it, the effects on Iraq's oil production and oil exports can be imagined. Comparable insurgency, civil riot and rebellion and destruction of government is under way in both Syria and Libya. The extreme fundamentalist Sunni ISIS movement makes no secret of 'the prize' being the overthrow of albeit-Sunni ruling families, called 'impious and heretical' in the GCC countries.
That would have an interesting effect on the price of oil, wouldn't it?
Thank goodness we have a leader in DC that keeps showing his "smart diplomacy" skills.