MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq -- Marines from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion raided a small Bedouin village near Akashat in search of insurgents and anti-Iraqi forces.
“Our mission was to conduct a cordon and search of a Bedouin village in order to capture anti-Iraqi elements that were suspected of working in the general vicinity,” Captain Ladd Shepard, the operations officer for 2nd LAR, Regimental Combat Team-2, explained.
The Marines surrounded the town and systematically checked each house searching for weapons caches and any evidence of propaganda.
“We swept through the whole village, 26 different houses, and came up with a few small weapons,” Shepard stated.
These weapons were not out of the ordinary here, where each male is allowed to have a rifle.
“There was nothing there that led us to believe that there was a weapons cache in the village,” he explained.
After a detailed search of the village, the residents were then pulled to the side for questioning.
“We talked to each of them and ascertained their identities, listened to their stories and tried to see if they could confirm the enemy’s presence,” he said. “We didn’t detain any of the Iraqi people.”
The females and children were separated while the males were being questioned. The women and children were given food, water and pamphlets on the current state of Iraq.
“We pulled them out of their houses for their safety. It allowed the Marines to search the houses knowing that no one would be in them,” Sgt. Jeffrey Correnti, the information operations chief for 2d LAR, said.
The Marines kept the kids entertained by letting them play with equipment like a broadcast speaker. The children also got to see the dogs used by the Marines to search houses.
“The kids were friendly and playful,” Correnti explained. “I believe that after we gave them food and water and entertained the kids they didn’t have any negative feelings toward us.”