|A detainee lies on the ground as a US Marine guard|
When I arrived to Marjah, I asked PAO personnel many times, that if it was any operation, I would like to cover it and for sure when I am ready to cover any operation, I would accept all the possible risks too.
It was an operation in the first hours of today, May 23, 2011 in Shinghazak area, south of Marjah district in Helmand province and as I asked the platoon leader to send me for any operation, he did not inform me at all!
I should mentioned that, according to the situation, it may be difficult for them to take a journalist or they may not have place for me during the night ride into Taliban places. Any way, I was not in the operation and in the morning I woke up by Marine's helicopters sound and took my camera and run to the airfield which is attached to the Camp, where am I staying.
The few helicopters landed and US Marines from 3rd Betalion 9th Marines, Kilo company, took out 12 detainees from those gray, big and a bit scary helicopters.
|A US Marine walks with a detainee|
Their hands and their eyes were closed and Marines took their arms and help them to walk. Marines make them sit on the ground and face to the wall. I start doing my job and no one bothered me and I could take a lot of pictures. Some of the Marines passed me and smile me and as normal saying: 'Whats up man?' I realized that they are happy from the result of their ride.
I was watching a detainee, who was not comfortable and moved his body a lot, sometimes tried to move the scarf which was on his eyes and some times lied down on the ground. I saw before some addicted men who were acting like him when they did not receive heroin and I thought he is addicted for sure.
Marines took him to a room and brought some machine to check his finger prints, because of the secrets of their machines, I was not allowed to take pictures and I accept that. The finger prints of the man was exactly in the machine archive and he was a Taliban fighter according to US Marines documents.
A police officer and an Afghanistan's government official was presented and they were watching all the process. The elder man from the government was believed that most of the 12 detainees are not Taliban fighters. The Marines platoon leader who is a young man and smiles most of the time, told me that they will be sent to Camp Leatherneck to be investigate more and if it is confirmed that they are Taliban fighters will hand over to Afghanistan's officials and if they were innocent will be freed.
|US Marines and Afghanistan's forces walk|
I remembered that many times Karzai's government free them after a while or they easily escape from the jail as they did from Kandahar jail several weeks ago and will return to their group, keep killing people and this story will go on for a long time then US again has to spend money and young men lives to arrest them and this game will be on!!
I sent my photos and if you want to see more about what I saw you can go to: www.imageforum.afp.com and search my name or search Helmand.
In the end, I hope to see an operation in this embed and write about the real story of an operation if the allow me.
All other photographers and journalists from Afghanistan, boycotted doing embeds with US and NATO troops as they believe they don't have enough and equal access like a western journalist, but I do embeds to know more and have more experience about US troops and whenever I find opportunity, I will talk to their media.