Support our mission
 
The sheik of Zariyah (center) speaks with Marine Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan, right, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, on Friday during an operation in the Iraqi town north of Haditha. The men spoke for two hours while Marines searched homes and asked the town's men for information about themselves for a registry. At least three suspected insurgents were detained.
The sheik of Zariyah (center) speaks with Marine Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan, right, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, on Friday during an operation in the Iraqi town north of Haditha. The men spoke for two hours while Marines searched homes and asked the town's men for information about themselves for a registry. At least three suspected insurgents were detained. (Steve Mraz / S&S)
The sheik of Zariyah (center) speaks with Marine Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan, right, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, on Friday during an operation in the Iraqi town north of Haditha. The men spoke for two hours while Marines searched homes and asked the town's men for information about themselves for a registry. At least three suspected insurgents were detained.
The sheik of Zariyah (center) speaks with Marine Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan, right, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, on Friday during an operation in the Iraqi town north of Haditha. The men spoke for two hours while Marines searched homes and asked the town's men for information about themselves for a registry. At least three suspected insurgents were detained. (Steve Mraz / S&S)
Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Carlson, 21, of Koror, Palau, stands ready as a fellow Company E, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine attempts to enter a house in Zariyah, Iraq, on Friday morning.
Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Carlson, 21, of Koror, Palau, stands ready as a fellow Company E, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine attempts to enter a house in Zariyah, Iraq, on Friday morning. (Steve Mraz / S&S)
Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, walk the roads of Zariyah, Iraq, on Friday along with Cross, a bomb-sniffing dog.
Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, walk the roads of Zariyah, Iraq, on Friday along with Cross, a bomb-sniffing dog. (Steve Mraz / S&S)
A local man gestures after meeting Cross, a bomb-sniffing dog. Sgt. Ray Lemmon, the dog's handler, guided Cross through the roads and homes of Zariyah, Iraq, on Friday.
A local man gestures after meeting Cross, a bomb-sniffing dog. Sgt. Ray Lemmon, the dog's handler, guided Cross through the roads and homes of Zariyah, Iraq, on Friday. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

ZARIYAH, Iraq — The operation began at daybreak Friday in this dusty, remote town north of Haditha in Anbar province.

Iraqi policemen accompanied by Marines drove through the streets and used loudspeakers to tell the men to gather at the local school.

The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment — led by Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan — were there in force, anticipating resistance by insurgents. A few weeks earlier on their way to Zariyah, two Iraqi policemen were gunned down and killed by an insurgent. Another insurgent being tracked by Marines blew himself up. No Marines were seriously injured.

But Friday, things were quiet in Zariyah, a place where insurgents have operated from, according to Iraqi police intelligence.

A cordon-and-search of the town began at dawn. Marines searched the mostly shabby stone houses one by one for bomb-making material and weapons beyond the one AK-47 allowed by each household.

Bomb-sniffing dogs such as one named Cross, accompanied by her handler, Sgt. Ray Lemmon, trotted through houses, yards and streets seeking explosives that could be used for roadside bombs.

The town’s men gathered in the school so personal information could be obtained on Zariyah’s military-age men, said Maj. Keven Matthews, executive officer for the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

Fostering relations with local leaders, Donnellan sipped chai tea with the town’s sheik and talked for two hours through an interpreter about the presence of insurgents, potential projects for the town and other issues.

The process of querying the town’s men continued throughout the day while Marines stood watch around Zariyah in case something happened.

By nightfall, the Marines and Iraqi police had questioned and processed the town’s several dozen males and at least three suspected insurgents were detained. All the Marines made it back safely to their camp at Haditha Dam.

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up