Iraq's government said on February 2 that it is awarding an Italian firm, Trevi, with a contract to repair and maintain the Mosul Dam -- a structure in northern Iraq that is in danger of a catastrophic collapse, which could devastate areas to the south.
The dam, the largest in Iraq, stretches for more than three kilometers and holds back a reservoir fed by the Tigris River. But it has long been threatened with a collapse.
It was built on an unstable foundation that continuously erodes, and a lapse in maintenance after Islamic State (IS) militants seized it in 2014 has weakened the already flawed structure.
U.S. officials have warned that the collapse of the dam could send a huge wave crashing to IS-held Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, about 40 kilometers away.
Italy’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the report, but said the deal has yet to be signed.
Authorities have not specified how much Trevi would be paid for the work.
Italy's government announced in December that it would deploy 450 troops to defend the dam, a decision linked to Trevi's interest in the project.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP