May 21, 1991: Nazdour and Begova

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Tue 21 May

In the morning we went to A and C Companies and Batufa Clinic with Lt Howells. Batufa is staffed by German doctors. In the afternoon we drove north from Begova to Nazdour, a spectacular ride over the mountains, unfortunately marred by haze. On the way back I rode in the open hatch of the Humvee shooting pictures - great fun. We stopped at the wash point. Corrigan went first and Haney and I waited in the Humvee. Haney had a British catalog of survival gear and we gradually both got hysterical over the dumb ads and overpriced merchandise. Then some Kurds came by in a car that kept stalling every 100 meters or so. In the mood we were in, that generated still more hysterics, which we were barely able to stifle.

I found out the British aren't always so laid back. When the unit first moved in, one of the Marines threatened to kill a sergeant and drew 28 days' confinement. That sobered the rest of them up and put them on their best behavior.

Errand in Zakho

Gulf War Image Although I had thought of the mountains as remote, it was only an hour from the British Marine camp to Zakho and we frequently made return trips.
Gulf War Image Another view of the notorious sliding hill. The red shale is obvious on the far side of the valley.
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Gulf War Image This waterfall became an impromptu shower point

The Road to Nazdour

Gulf War Image At Begova, a side road made a spectacular climb over the mountains north to a former village near the Turkish frontier named Nazdour.
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Gulf War Image These red lentils were dyed to indicate they'd been treated with a mercury-based fungicide. They were for sowing only, not for eating. We suspected some deaths in the mountains may have been related to eating these lentils. It's also possible they were just dumped because people realized they were not safe to eat.
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Gulf War Image When we say "Watch for Falling Rocks", we mean it!
Gulf War Image There are winding roads, and then there's this road.


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Created January 10, 2000; Last Update 11 June 2020