IRAQI KURDISTAN by J.B. RUSSELL


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Banslawa camp, near Eribil, for displaced Kurds forcibly evicted from their homes in the strategic, oil producing region of Kirkuk.
After the 1991 uprising against the Baghdad regime, Saddam Hussein refused to provide petroleum to the Kurds, so they began to develop their own small oil field.
The changing of the guard in front of a portrait of President Massoud Barzani at the Kurdistan National Assembly.
Eribil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
The big, new Mazi supermarket, in Duhok, is the only one of its kind in Iraqi Kurdistan stocking a large selection of foreign brand food items, clothing, electronics and household goods, mostly all imported from Turkey.
The news broadcast at Kurd TV in Sulaimaniya. Unlike their fellow Iraqis to the south Iraqi Kurds enjoy relative freedom of information and press. Since the Kurds obtained protection by US and British warplanes after the Gulf War, they have formed their own TV stations.
Peshmerga fighters on their mountain positions along the Shinirwe front line, near Halabja,with Ansar al-Islam extremists – a group of islamic extremists that control a mountainous enclave of Iraqi Kurd. Mortars and gun fire are regularly exchanged with the Peshmerga who try to contain them.
Thousands of oil tanker trucks backed up at the border at Zakho wait to bring Iraqi crude oil to Turkey. Much of the oil export is illegal under UN sanctions against Iraq but a blind eye has been turned toward the trade. The Kurds tax the transport of the oil through their territory.
Peshmerga commanders attending a six month officer's course in military theory and strategy at the Kurdish military college in Sulaimaniya. The Kurds of northern Iraq are training a standing regular army as well as Peshmerga militias.
Peshmerga fighters rest in the early morning at their front line position over looking the town of Halabja.
Women seeking help with infertilitdy problems at the Halabja Hospital day clinic. Fourteen years after the chemical weapons attack against Halabja, residents still suffer from health problems linked to the attack including eye, skin and respitory troubles, birth defects and infertility.
Thousands of Kurds were killed in the town of Halabja in a 1988 chemical weapons attack by Saddam Hussein against his own people. Today the town has numerous graveyards filled with the victims of the attack, many in mass graves.
Iraqi Kurds forcibly expelled from the Kurdish oil producing region of Kirkuk, which is still controlled by Saddam Hussein's regime, live in an abandoned sugar factory in Sulaimaniya. For several years, Iraq has been displacing thousands of Kurdish families from the strategic area and moving in Iraqi Arabs.
Sef Abdullah holding a picture of her husband who was "disappeared" by Saddam Hussein's regime during the "Anfal" campaign. In 1982-83 the regime rounded up an estimated 200,000 Kurds who have never been seen since. Sef Abdullah lost her husband, six of her seven sons and her two sons-in-law. Her youngest son, Amjad Badin Mohammad who was 12 at the time, is the only male survivor of her family. Hamdela.
On exercises in Diana – special forces in the Iraqi Kurd regular army formed 5 years ago. Kurdish commanders claim that they have not been asked to collaborate in an eventual military operation against Saddam Hussein's regime. They are anxious for the regime's overthrow and are ready to defend themselves.
Hitch hikers. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters patrol along the military road, near Halabja, where Ansar al-Islam Islamist extremists are active.
A group of 6 assassins sent by the Iraqi regime to Iraqi Kurdistan to kill a member of the Mokhaberat – Saddam Hussein's secret service – who had defected to Kurdish held northern Iraq. Kurdish authorities captured the men before they could accomplish their mission. Erbil.
Kurdish check point on the front line between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq proper.
Khalek, Iraqi Kurdistan. 13-11-2002.
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