President Barack Obama said the recapturing of Mosul dam in northern Iraq by Iraqi and Kurdish forces is a "major step forward" in the battle against Islamic State militants.
Speaking at the White House, Obama said Monday that if the dam on the Tigris River had been breached it could have had catastrophic consequences and endangered American Embassy personnel in Baghdad.
Obama said the U.S. is urgently providing arms and assistance to Iraqi security forces as well as Kurdish fighters as they seek to reverse the Islamic State (ISIS) fighters' recent gains.
The U.S. began a campaign of airstrikes in Iraq earlier this month to combat the advances of Islamic State combatants. Over the weekend, American forces conducted a round of strikes around the Mosul dam—a major strategic asset in the region.
Since then, there have been conflicting accounts from Kurdish, Iraqi, and ISIS over who currently controls over the dam.
Earlier on Monday, ISIS warned the United States that it will attack Americans "in any place" if U.S. raids hit its militants.
The group released a video showing a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood."