WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says 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 fighters' recent gains.
In addition, Obama is sending Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson, Missouri, to meet with federal law enforcement authorities investigating the police shooting of an unarmed teenager.
Obama says Holder will travel to the St. Louis suburb on Wednesday.
Holder recently authorized a federal autopsy on the body of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot on Aug. 9. Brown was black; the officer who shot him was white.
Obama spoke from the White House on Monday after independent autopsy results determined that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. Missouri's governor also called in the National Guard early Monday after police again used tear gas to quell protests that have taken nightly since Brown's death.