It was an early morning: we had loaded up our vehicles before dawn, and drove the 90 minutes through the dusty Ninevah plains to the joint operations center… where Iraqis, Kurds, and Americans are coordinating the Mosul offensive.
By sunrise, it was already hot, and flies buzzed around our ears.
While we discussed plans for the day, the Iraqi Army insisted we join them for breakfast. We sat in the officer’s mess… a horseshoe of picnic tables covered in plastic.
For breakfast? Yellow lentil soup, two hardboiled eggs, and a basket full of bread.
The lentil soup was spicy and hearty, strewn with thin fideo noodles. After a week of granola bars and apples in the car, it was great to get something warm.
Officers tore off pieces of thick Iraqi bread and swiped their bowls clean, or wrapped up bits of egg.
Protein, salt, carbs. The perfect fuel for a day on the frontlines. Just don’t look too closely at the kitchen.