Iranian regime recruited Afghan Shiite men to fight and die in Syria

Since 2014, thousands of young Afghan Shiite men have been recruited to fight in the Syrian civil war on behalf of the Iran Regime to prop up the brutal Bashar Assad dictatorship. These Afghan recruits are being sent to the front lines, where they risk death and serious injury, somewhere Iranian troops are not sent, but they know little about the wider context of the war that they are fighting.

Over 840 of these men, pushed into a foreign conflict by economic hardship, have died, but survivors are still signing up, desperate that they and their families can escape economic hardship if they reenlist and take home another few hundred US dollars.

There have been between 5,000 and 12,000 Afghan fighters in the Syrian civil war since the units were established within the Fatemiyoun Division of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Most are refugees in Iran or impoverished workers from the Afghanistan-Iran border, meaning that it is easy for the Iranian Regime to take advantage of them.

The Afghan troops are only one part of Iran’s Shiite forces in Syria –in fact Israel accused Iran in December of sending up to 80,000 foreign fighters to Syria. Iran has also recruited from Lebanon, Iraq, and Pakistan, but Afghans have the second highest death rates among the Shiite forces.

Many of these Afghan fighters report that the Iranian Regime makes them feel obligated to continue fighting in order to receive further medical treatment for injuries received during the fighting.

One fighter, known only as Hussain, told the Washington Post: “You get caught up in a situation; they give you money and food, they promise you more medical treatment, they give you documents to move freely inside Iran. They make you feel obligated.”

As if it’s not bad enough that poverty and pressure are forcing young men into armed conflict, many human rights groups report that the Iranian Regime is recruiting young boys of just 13 into the fighting force, a violation of international law. These children receive the most basic of training and suffer high casualty rates.

Hussain said: “At first, a lot of guys believed they were fighting for something, but by the end that was gone. It was all about need.”

Naeem, a fighter who survived four deployments in Syria, told WaPo: “Afghans are dying for $30 a day. My cousin died in front of my eyes. But there is no work for us anywhere. There is nothing to do but fight. I know I am gambling with my life, but it is a matter of necessity.”

This is yet another example of the fact that the Iranian Regime’s malign activities do not only affect their own people – although that would be bad enough – but infects the whole region and by extension the whole world.

Source » NCR-Iran

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