Six Days with the Kurds

A TIME correspondent is on hand as the embattled rebels fight, then becomes part of a tidal flight to safety

The preparations for the battle begin at 6 a.m. at the only gas station operating in Erbil. Hundreds of vehicles line up to be filled: trucks, jeeps, Hondas, Toyotas, school buses, ambulances, three-wheelers. The uprising is at risk. Saddam's best troops have launched a five-pronged offensive backed by a panoply of modern weapons and troops who never took part in the gulf war.

By evening the sun is boiling red, but the wind is cool. The men become silent. It is the moment of peace before the carnage, and the peshmerga savor these remaining minutes. In only a few hours, many...

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