It was cold and dark when we arrived.
The beams of light from our clunky sedan on the potholed road seemed to be the only thing piercing the darkness.
To the north, Mount Shingal, which we had just crossed, lurked. To the south lay the city of Shingal, and beyond that the front line with Islamic State. Our destination was a small house occupied by a Kurdish peshmerga de-mining unit. The peshmerga are the armed forces of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
When we arrived, the fire was cracking outside in a makeshift hut. Several men in uniform were splayed out. A large kettle for tea was brought. One of the first things the tall, athletic major took interest in was that I was writing for an Israeli newspaper.
“Do you know why we like Israel?” “The help in the 1960s, when Israel supported Kurdish resistance?” I wondered.