Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
We drove down toward Dohuk, and got within sight of it when we were stopped by MP's commanded by a full colonel. We needed a pass to get into Dohuk, but the passes were only available in Dohuk. I wrote "typical military logic" in my journal. Actually, we had blundered into a very sensitive situation. We had cut a deal with Iraq to have a small number of US troops in Dohuk, all identified on a roster. Dohuk was strictly off limits to everyone else, but we hadn't gotten the word up where we were.
On the way to Dohuk, we passed 5 turkish trucks on the switchbacks. They were too heavily loaded to make the grade, and were waiting for a tow. The trucks are supposed to go through Batufa, which is an easy road but an hour longer. When we came back two hours later they were still there, too dumb to turn around and take the long way. None of us had the slightest sympathy for them; those trucks are tearing the road apart.
In the afternoon I translated for a Turkish truck driver who came in with a load of lumber destined for A and C Companies. He wanted to be paid off. I finally got across that he would be paid in Silopi when he got back. I wonder how he liked the road to C Company; he had a semi and the road is extremely rutted.
Later on Haney and I went out with a Brit who wanted to learn to drive a Humvee. We went to Kani Masi camp, by now almost empty, then through the ruins of Kani Masi village and on up the valley a few kilometers.
The Kurds are not really nomads, but they actually migrate between summer and winter homes. A lot of them keep orchards. In the border area the Iraqis sprayed the orchards with persistent herbicide. We saw many dead orchards. Some accounts of chemical attacks may actually have been herbicide sprayings, though there were undoubtedly real chemical attacks as well.
The commander of the 40th Commando had invited us to a farewell dinner, then General Potter and assorted other VIP's turned up, so only Haney went. I went out for a walk and found a few more possible buried walls and lots of loose pottery shards. I documented them and photographed them for our report.
|The Kurds aren't "nomads" but seasonal migrants, alternating between lowland pastures in winter and upland farms in summer. Many of the farms were orchards. So Saddam dealt with their revolt by hitting the orchards with persistent herbicides.|
|Left and above: the British support unit didn't mess around in choosing a flag!|
|We investigated a reported water supply problem but found this nice well and flowing spring.|
Created January 10, 2000; Last Update 11 June 2020
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