20-Aug-2010 -- We set off at 10:30 a.m. on 20 August from the Rumayla field with six cars. Needless to say it was hot. William, Mark, Salem, and myself were well equipped for the 60-km journey, as well as the normal supplies, more navigation systems that you can wave a stick at, considerable journey management planning. We also took along 'McGregor', a stuffed camel that had been at the forefront of expeditions in Iraq.
The journey was uneventful, a small US convoy and a couple of Bedouin vans were the only vehicles to share the road with us that day, and little to look at, aside from desert scrub and the detritus of war scattering the horizon. After an hour of bouncing along various road conditions, we turned off onto a marked track and drove to the confluence point. It felt a little surreal to stop at a point, significant for its intersection on the earth and yet unremarkable a feature to identify it. The gentle roll of desert stretched the horizon in each direction. With the pictures taken, which included 'McGregor' in various poses, we examined more closely the terrain around.
This was a battle ground with dug-in positions in a horse shoe at a slight elevation to protect two roads. Rusted wrecks of trucks, artillery, and various other twisted bits of steel lay around. Several in the party were familiar with arms and we pieced together the battle scene from around 1991 which seemed to comprise of artillery barrages from across the border 26 km to the south, followed by staffing runs and cluster bombs. It was not a battle at close range and wandering around the remnants of war, it was a sobering reminder of the past.