• Firepower and fear rule on the road to Basra

    Firepower and fear rule on the road to Basra0

    Iraq’s south, once safe, is now fraught with peril for troops Gethin Chamberlain, in Basra, for The Scotsman, 20 April 2004. “ALI Baba,” said the man standing at the checkpoint, drawing his finger across his throat and gesturing to the road ahead. “Ali Baba,” he said, his arms stretched out towards the soldiers imploringly. In Iraq,

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  • Rebuilding an Iraqi force for law and order amid the chaos

    Rebuilding an Iraqi force for law and order amid the chaos0

    Gethin Chamberlain, in Baghdad, for The Scotsman, 10 September 2004 THE blast of the twin explosions sends shock waves rolling across the dusty patch of land on the edge of Baghdad. Smoke obscures the armed men who have just jumped from two land cruisers and rushed up to the building to set the charges against

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  • Name of al-Sadr hangs over uneasy south

    Name of al-Sadr hangs over uneasy south0

      Gethin Chamberlain, in Basra, for The Scotsman, 17 April 2004 ODAY al-Dibaj clasps the bars of his prison cell, his hair cropped close to his head, his beard neatly trimmed. He speaks fast, and passionately. The people love Muqtada al-Sadr, Dibaj says, because Sadr loves his country and supports all the good people in Iraq.

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  • Black Watch commander: how the MoD let us down in Iraq

    Black Watch commander: how the MoD let us down in Iraq0

    • NEWS
    • January 22, 2004

    EXCLUSIVE Gethin Chamberlain in Fallingbostel, Germany, for The Scotsman, 22 January 2004 BLACK Watch troops were sent into battle in Iraq without the equipment they would have needed to survive had Saddam Hussein decided to use chemical or biological weapons against them. Yesterday, Lieutenant Colonel James Cowan, the commanding officer of the Black Watch, one of

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  • They poured out of their Warriors and let fly with grenades, guns, everything

    They poured out of their Warriors and let fly with grenades, guns, everything0

    Gethin Chamberlain of The Scotsman with the Black Watch, Iraq, 26 March 2003 JUST after dawn yesterday the Warrior crashed through the wall of the house tucked away down a side road in the Iraqi town of Al Zubayr, west of Basra. The first inkling those sleeping inside had that anything was wrong was when it

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  • Resistance crumbles as British troops make a decisive push

    Resistance crumbles as British troops make a decisive push0

    Iraqis point out fedayeen hiding spots to British troops Gethin Chamberlain, in Basra, for The Scotsman, 7 April 2003 THE Iraqis were hiding in a bunker at the side of the road when the tanks first spotted them. There were four of them, waiting at a crossroads in the Al Hadi area of Basra, slotting

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  • Home thoughts that hurt as the black snow falls

    Home thoughts that hurt as the black snow falls0

    Gethin Chamberlain of The Scotsman, with the Black Watch on the outskirts of Basra, Iraq. For the BBC, 31 March 2003 When the soldiers awoke it was everywhere; the oily cinders coating every surface, falling like tiny flakes of black snow.On their sleeping bags, on their skin, in their hair, breathing it in, impossible to brush

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  • Death at a checkpoint

    Death at a checkpoint0

    Gethin Chamberlain, in Baghdad, for The Scotsman, 17 September 2004.  HIS name was Ahmed Hameed and he was 36 years old. He had taken the wrong turning up to the checkpoint on the July 14 Bridge which spans the Tigris on the south-eastern edge of what used to be known in Baghdad as the Green

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  • ‘We are tired of firing at people – get us out of here’

    ‘We are tired of firing at people – get us out of here’0

    Gethin Chamberlain in Basra for The Sunday Telegraph, 28 October 2007 It was as astonishing an admission as any that has emerged from the lips of a British officer in the four and a half years since the tanks rolled over the Iraqi border. The British Army, said the man sitting in a prefab hut

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  • Post-election Iraq is calm, but will it last? Wait and see…

    Post-election Iraq is calm, but will it last? Wait and see…0

    By Gethin Chamberlain in Basra for The Scotsman, 5 February 2005 MY NAME? My name is Hanif Masoor, he says. He is smartly dressed, his dark blue jacket bearing the word Security picked out in yellow thread in English and Arabic. It is pitch black in the countryside on the southern edge of Basra, the

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