Kurdish forces have retaken parts of the Iraq's largest dam from ISIL extremists, says an Iraqi security official. 

Gen. Tawfik Desty, a commander with the Kurdish forces at the dam, told the AP that peshmerga forces backed by Iraqi and U.S. airstrikes started the operation to retake Mosul Dam early Sunday. 

The campaign to take back the dam, which has been going on for more than a week, was intensified Saturday when U.S. military launched an operation using jet fighters and armed drones that included nine airstrikes near Erbil and the Mosul Dam. 

The strategic dam, which supplies water and electricity to northern Iraq with water from the Tigris River, was seized by ISIL militants on Aug. 7. Releasing the dam could also have disastrous effects, as well, including a 65-foot wave that has the potential to flood Baghdad.