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Iraqi official: Kurdish forces retake parts of Mosul Dam from Islamic extremists

  • Mideast Iraq -1.jpg

    Displaced Iraqi Christians and Yazidis settle at diocese of Zakho, 300 miles (475 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. Islamic extremists shot 80 Yazidi men to death in Iraq, lining them up in small groups and opening fire with assault rifles before abducting their wives and children, officials and eyewitnesses reported Saturday. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Iraq -2.jpg

    Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at the Qandil mountains near the Turkish border outside Zakho, 300 miles (475 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. Islamic extremists shot 80 Yazidi men to death in Iraq, lining them up in small groups and opening fire with assault rifles before abducting their wives and children, officials and eyewitnesses reported Saturday. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Iraq -3.jpg

    Displaced Christians and Yazids gather outside diocese of Zakho, 300 miles (475 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, during the visit of Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Pope Francis special envoy to Iraq. The Arabic on the banners reads "we ask for a quick solution and save our children from homelessness" and " We call on immigration." (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

An Iraqi security official says Kurdish forces have taken over parts of the country's largest dam, which was captured by the Islamic State extremist group earlier this month.

Gen. Tawfik Desty told The Associated Press that peshmerga forces backed by Iraqi and U.S. warplanes started the operation to retake Mosul Dam early Sunday.

Desty, a commander with the Kurdish forces at the dam, which was seized on Aug. 7, said they now control the eastern part of the dam and that fighting is still underway.

The U.S. launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group more than a week ago in a bid to halt its advance across the north. The extremists control vast swaths of Iraq and neighboring Syria.