US soldier plays Pokémon Go while fighting ISIS in Iraq
One American soldier who is part of a mission to “catch” Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, decided to take a break to “catch” monsters in the smash hit game Pokémon Go.
Louis Park, 26, a veteran Marine Corps stationed in Iraq for more than a year now, posted a screenshot of Pokémon Go on Facebook Friday, showing Squirtle ready to surrender in front of his machine gun on the dry battlefield.
— The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh) July 10, 2016
“Just caught my first Pokémon on the Mosul frontline by Teleskuf,” he wrote in the post, which was later taken down. “Daesh, come challenge me to a Pokémon battle,” he captioned another post using the same shot on his Instagram account.
In an interview with tech news site The Verge, Park claimed that he downloaded the app while on a visit to the US last week. Since then, he could not take his fingers off the addictive game. Although there are no Pokémons in the field, he testified that in Dohuk, a midget town in the northern Kurdistan region, he was able to access a multitude of Pokéstops and gyms.
“There’s a guy at the market that I talked to that plays it. He speaks a little bit of English, and like, I say, ‘There are pokéstops here and everything,” he narrated, vaunting that he had captured his second Pokémon, Zubat, at a local market.
Contrary to common belief, he told the news site that he experiences idle days in the war-torn state. “Most of the days are boring,” he says. “You kind of sit there and you guard your post and stand by in case anything happens. [ISIS] shoot mortars just about every other day, but we’ve only had a couple of actual attacks.”
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, he remained optimistic that his newfound “internet glory” could help him draw support for the Peshmerga and Dwehk Nawsha, the two principal military organizations fighting ISIS.
“I don’t need the coverage, the Kurds and Assyrians do,” he stressed. Gianna Francesca Catolico
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