The Surge

A US marine poses to show the gun tattoos on his chest at the base in Garmsir. Photo by Hossein Fatemi

Helmand Province has been the setting for some of the heaviest fighting of the Afghan war. As part of the troop surge announced by President Obama at the end of 2009, the number of US soldiers in the province was increased to 20,000 by the summer of 2010, adding to 8,000 of their British counterparts.

Hossein Fatemi documented a US Marine unit in Garmsir district in August 2010, thereby becoming the first Iranian photojournalist to be embedded with American troops in Afghanistan.

‘Iranian and Afghan photographers always thought that they couldn’t get embedded with Americans,’ Hossein says. ‘Having only an Iranian passport, I thought there was no way I’d manage the embed. But I applied, just in case I were to get the opportunity. And to my huge surprise, I got it.’

 See full photo essay

 Read Hossein Fatemi Interview

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