Wednesday, April 02, 2003

As the conflict enters its second week it's beginning to take its toll on the personal lives of some of the journalists based here in Sulaymaniyah.

Over dinner, two members of the press pack tell me they've split up with their girlfriends by phone or e-mail in recent days. With no end to the assignment in sight and no return date, some loved ones have had enough.

It's dawning on some us that even if we wanted to go home, we couldn't. The borders with Turkey, Iran and Syria are sealed, making movement in and out difficult if not impossible. One colleague chose the most drastic option -- being Med-Evac'd out. Although he didn't tell his managers, the death of the Autralian cameraman Paul Moran hit him hard and he wanted out. Other colleagues are pondering possible escape routes, either because they've had enough or because the Northern Front is shaping up to be a mere shadow of what we originally expected.

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