• Blair’s case for taking us to war was built on sand – and now it’s shifting

    Blair’s case for taking us to war was built on sand – and now it’s shifting0

    Is the prime minister the last person to believe the intelligence on WMDs? Gethin Chamberlain for The Scotsman, 31 January 2004 FIRST there were weapons of mass destruction that could be launched within 45 minutes, posing a threat to mainland Europe. But they became battlefield WMDs which could threaten only troops attacking Iraq. In time,

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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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  • The soldiers who fear they are fighting a forgotten war

    The soldiers who fear they are fighting a forgotten war0

    Gethin Chamberlain in Az Zubayr, Iraq, for The Scotsman, 20 April 2004 IN THE darkness by the side of the road, Robert Grieve’s Land Rover rolled over and over, bullets ripping through it and out the other side. The rocket-propelled grenade had hit the tyre and bounced off, but the force of the blast had

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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

    • IRAQ
    • February 5, 2005

    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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  • 2,200 casualties: the true cost of the war in Iraq

    2,200 casualties: the true cost of the war in Iraq0

    Gethin Chamberlain for The Scotsman,  24 April 2004 THE true scale of British casualties in Iraq is revealed today after the Ministry of Defence confirmed that more than 2,200 injured British military personnel have been flown home from the Gulf since the start of the campaign. With the security situation in Iraq deteriorating, The Scotsman has

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  • 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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  • 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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  • MoD accused of hiding real cost of Iraq war

    MoD accused of hiding real cost of Iraq war0

    By Gethin Chamberlain, for The Scotsman, 1 January 2006 THE Ministry of Defence has admitted that it issued misleading figures for the number of British soldiers injured in Iraq after a Scotsman investigation found that they were wildly inaccurate. John Reid, the Defence Secretary, last week claimed that about 230 UK personnel had been wounded

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  • Caught in the middle as al-Amarah explodes

    Caught in the middle as al-Amarah explodes0

    Gethin Chamberlain, in al-Amarah, Iraq, for The Scotsman, 19 April 2004 WE were almost out of al-Amarah when we heard the first gunshots. A couple at first, as we crossed a bridge out of the town, enough to focus the attention of two soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who had their heads and

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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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  • 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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  • ‘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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  • In this cat and mouse war, the sniper is king

    In this cat and mouse war, the sniper is king0

    Gethin Chamberlain of The Scotsman, with the Black Watch near Basra, 31 March 2003 THE tank crew spotted them first; four men in civilian clothes jumping out of a pickup truck in the centre of Zubayr. One had a rocket- propelled grenade launcher. Corporal Mark Harvey was the first of the accompanying snipers to react, dropping

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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

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

    Rebuilding an Iraqi force for law and order amid the chaos0

    • IRAQ
    • September 10, 2004

    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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  • Iraq and ruin

    Iraq and ruin0

    Gethin Chamberlain, for The Scotsman, 18 March 2006 IT IS 9 APRIL, 2003. Muhannad Hussam is at home in Baghdad, watching television as the 20ft statue of Saddam in Ferdoos Square is hauled down by ordinary Iraqis. About 3,000 miles away in Aberdeen, Walter and Diane Douglas are also watching TV, hoping that this event signals the

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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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  • Baptism of fire in the streets of Az Zubayr

    Baptism of fire in the streets of Az Zubayr0

    Gethin Chamberlain, for The Scotsman, 9 March 2004 “SARGE! Sarge!” The tugging on Sgt Euan McGilp’s arm was insistent. “Sarge! Sarge!” McGilp, ducking to avoid the bullets zipping overhead and attempting to keep his head below the level of his Warrior, ignored the hand grasping the fabric of his sleeve. “Sarge! Sarge!” Scott Henderson’s voice

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