Meanwhile, US preparations for war continued unabated, as a formal request was made for NATO assistance. Washington sent its NATO allies proposals for possible roles in the case of conflict. Turkey, one of the alliance desperate to avoid the disruption of war, has begun preparations for its eventuality, setting up a 24,000-tent refugee camp in the Sirnak border province. Ankara faced criticism during the 1990-1991 Gulf war for its lack of readiness for the flood of refugees and the consequent poor living conditions they faced. Reports indicate that the government will try to establish camps on the Iraqi side of the border to prevent Kurdish separatists entering Turkey.