MIDDLE EAST

Over 2,000 Afghans sent by Iran killed in Syria: official

A rebel fighter from the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement reacts as they fire grad rockets from Idlib countryside, towards forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. (File photo: Reuters)

More than 2,000 Afghans deployed by Iran have been killed fighting in Syria on the side of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, an official in the volunteer force told Iranian media.

The Fatemiyoun Brigade of Afghan “volunteer” recruits has been fighting in Syria for five years, said Zohair Mojahed, a cultural official in the brigade.

“This brigade has given more than 2,000 martyrs and 8,000 wounded for Islam,” he said in an interview with the reformist Shargh newspaper published Saturday.

Iran rarely provides figures on the numbers fighting and killed in its operations in Syria and Iraq.

The last toll was provided by the veterans organization in March, which said 2,100 volunteers had died without specifying how many were foreign recruits.

Iran denies sending professional troops to fight in the region, saying it has only provided military advisors and organized brigades made up of volunteers from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Biggest military unit 

The Fatemiyoun is reportedly the biggest military unit deployed by Iran in Iraq and Syria, made up of recruits from Afghanistan's Shiite minority.

Iran has backed Afghan forces in the past against the Taliban in their own country, as well as mobilizing them against Saddam Hussein's forces in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.

SEE ALSO: Will Washington join Tel Aviv to prevent Iranian expansion in Syria?

Some 3,000 Afghans died fighting Iraq in the 1980s, Mojahed said.

Tehran offers Iranian citizenship to the families of those foreign fighters “martyred” in the conflicts of Syria and Iraq.

Iranian media has reported on the funerals of volunteer “martyrs” and aired television features about their presence in Syria.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Saturday, 6 January 2018 KSA 15:54 - GMT 12:54
Top
BREAKING NEWS

Send to a friend

Close
Over 2,000 Afghans sent by Iran killed in Syria: official
Friend's name:
Friend's Email:
Sender's name:
Sender's Email:
Captcha Code
How are we doing?
X

How are we doing?

Name Name *
Email Email *
Country Country
Message Message *
Maximum 550 words allowed