The Kurdish army has one tank — an Iraqi T55 they captured
from Saddam Hussein’s troops more than a decade ago. Iraq’s
Kurds live in an uncertain limbo, surrounded by countries hostile
to their dreams of autonomy, even as they’ve established a de facto
nation-state within the U.S.-preserved no-fly zone of northern Iraq.
“I think that what surprised me most about Kurdistan,” says British photographer Andrew Testa, “was how far they have come in the
last 10 years. To be honest, I was expecting a mess, but found just the opposite. Everything works: They have cell phones, good roads,
great food — even supermarkets!” All of this could disappear overnight, of course, and every Kurd knows it. “The Kurds,” says Testa, “play
a very delicate balancing act.” Not unlike this soldier, who has just removed the gun cover from his army’s only tank.