Sunday, March 23, 2003

The Western Front
It doesn't get any airplay other than the announcement the other day that H2 and H3 had been captured, but some of the boys from Southern Pines have been having a hoedown with their friends from Australia and the UK. Peter Beaumont in the Observer:
The western desert is a flat land of compacted sand, sharp flints and pavements of limestone and basalt. Its occupants are a few Bedouin encampments and the occasional dirty towns that grew up around the pump stations on the now abandoned Baghdad-Haifa oil pipeline.

Now a road follows that pipeline, the main strategic route connecting Baghdad with Jordan to the west. And along this road a very different kind of war is being fought.

Last night these vast inhospitable plains, scoured by the wind and freezing at night, were the scene of the most secretive and least publicised fronts in the battle for Iraq: the war between small groups of US, UK and Australian Special Forces and the Iraqi troops stationed in this desert.