Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced Wednesday that his country will send 450 soldiers to Iraq to defend the Mosul dam on the Tigris river. The dam was built by an Italian and German consortium in the 1980s and is the only source of energy for over a million people in Mosul. Iraq's second-largest city. Damage to the dam would flood the city and even affect Baghdad. Islamic State captured the dam complex, which has an area of over 5 kilometers, from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in August 2014 and held it for a month until the complex was recaptured by a force of Iraqi army and Kurdish troops with the assistance of the US. The 450 Italian troops will join the 750 who are already serving in Iraq in the framework of the coalition against ISIS.