Behind The Lines: Lying in Wait In Kurdistan

Saddam's troops prepare for possible showdowns with both the Americans and the Kurds

Along a vast front line snaking through northern Iraq, in bunkers and staging posts only a few miles from an estimated 50,000 anti-Baghdad Kurdish fighters, Saddam Hussein has stationed tens of thousands of badly fed, sadly equipped conscripts from his I and V Corps of the Iraqi army. But the Kurdish fighters, known as the peshmerga (those who face death), are not worried about their enemy's proximity. These bedraggled Iraqi soldiers are unwilling to die for a leader they loathe.

Saddam has made a different calculation. He believes that in the event of war, fear of his wrath and uncertainty...

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