dariusaskari dariusaskari

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Darius Askari  Documentarian/Photojournalist (Bangkok based) // Currently focused on Mosul, Iraq

Federal Police, who hold the line after newly acquired territory is secured, advance to their location in a humvee.

Where is the line between duty and obligation; that minuscule divide between compliance and subtle force? Those were my thoughts as I watched these brave men work as one collective unit. Men who were far away from their homes and still embracing their circumstances, all the while hoping the condition of their country would improve.

Here in Iraq, the stories of tragic lost are endless. They stack and compress against one another, like smoldering embers commingling in a fire. Merely breathing on them is a resurrection of sorrow, summoning tears and anguish all too close to the surface.
Gunfire and mortar shelling, all too quickly becomes a muted soundtrack set to scenes of conflict and bloodshed, oppression and suffering, tragic loss and inhumane acts of unspeakable depravity.

Despite all the heartache, it’s the resilient character of the citizens that continue to serve as signs of rebellion, rebellion against an ideology that’s often difficult to extinguish.

The road to Mosul hasn't been an easy one. Not for the coalition forces and especially not for the innocent bystanders caught in the crosshairs, between extremism and liberation. This time I've returned to Iraq with the intention of staying put until the war ends.

This was a playful moment I witnessed at a temple in Tokyo. Blessed Nirvana Day to my fellow Buddhists.

Well over 100,000 IDPs have passed through Khazir Refugee Camp. Many of which are finally returning to their homes in the liberated eastern side of Mosul. A sign of great progress as the coalition and Iraqi forces prepare to retake the western half of the city.

Night ops with Al Hash'd al Shaabi. It's a common occurrence to exchange gunfire with the enemy enveloped in a veil of darkness, offering the ability to maneuver undetected.

I wanted to answer pressing and reoccurring questions in a creative way. Going forward I'll choose a question or two and reply in this format. || #onassignmentwithaskari

It's easy to look at images of war and marginalize the victims, dismissing them as tragic circumstances of conflict, but there's deeper stories behind the clickbait fodder we so easily digest and disregard.
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The man pictured above is the example of resiliency under oppression. For 3 years he and his family endured the daily anguish of ISIS rule, witnessing atrocities too heinous to mention.
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Once the Mosul offense began and the bombs and mortars rained down on their neighborhood, they all slept under the stairs of their home for 2 months praying the Iraqi forces would come liberate their village.
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Every night they huddled together too fearful to light a fire that would compromise their position, freezing and starving yet still holding onto a thin thread of hope.
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Then the day finally came and after grabbing their personal effects, an IED exploded injuring him, his wife, his 2 sons and daughter.
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I spent days with them taking audio testimony of their accounts and making a promise I intend to keep; to share their story with the world.

The People's Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as Hashd Al-Sha'abi is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization comprised of roughly 40 militias, which are mainly Shia Muslim groups.
Here they're mounting an assault launching mortars at the enemy.

Members of the Shia militia known as Al-Hashd al Sha'abi rescuing refugees who fled ISIS in Shirqat, Iraq.

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