May 22, 1991: Uzumlu

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

Wed 22 May

We spent most of the morning in camp because the British are planning a mission and Haney wants to be around if anything happens. A team in the mountains found bodies which may be the remains of a BBC team who vanished in March.

In the afternoon we went to Company C with Lt. Howells. As we were leaving, Chaplain Burr, LT Pat Cassidy and CPT Yancy came by. From their description it soundes like morale in Zakho is poor from inactivity; there was a rowdy party last night that the MP's had to quiet down. In the aftermath, camp rules have been tightened up, including no alcohol. They hinted we'd probably be best off staying in the mountains. We invited them to come up to Uzumlu later on but they declined, wisely it turned out.

Down the road from Company C is a camp which we checked out after our visit. From the description we heard, it sounded like there was a water problem in the camp. When we got there, we found a beautiful flowing spring, surrounded by a well-built wall, right in the middle of the camp. And just to make matters more interesting, there were two civil engineers there, a British chap I recognized from Camp 1, and a Kurd. To say there was no problem is a major understatement.

Then we went up to Kani Masi. Howells stayed on there while we went up to Uzumlu, a former camp on the Turkish border. The road was scraped out by the Kurds with tractors and earth-movers; it is an incredibly bad road with incredibly wild views. I gave Haney credit for finding a road that was as bad and as wild as any I'd seen anywhere. At the base of the mountain was the most unusual vehicle I'd seen taken by the Kurds: an abandoned fire truck.

At the top of the mountain is a broad bowl that at one time held 40,000 people. Now the last few people were leaving. There was a poignant scene of a woman praying at a gravesite, saying a last goodbye before leaving, in all likelihood, forever. We could drive right up to the Turkish border, where there were a few Turkish soldiers on guard. By this time the sunny day had given way to clouds that were just skimming the mountains, and new snow was falling on the mountains in Turkey. A warrant officer said they had snow flurries last night.

Uzumlu, May 22, 1991

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Gulf War Image Anything will do to get away, even a fire truck.
Gulf War Image Do-it-yourself escape route
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Awesome Views

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At the Turkish Frontier

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Created January 10, 2000; Last Update 11 June 2020 /p>