Report: Iran recruits Afghans for Syria war
In exchange, Iran is offering them stipends of $500 a month and residency permits, the Wall Street Journal reports, quoting Afghans and Western officials
Iran is recruiting Afghan refugees to fight in Syria, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.
In exchange, Iran is offering them stipends of $500 a month and residency permits, the paper said, quoting Afghans and Western officials.
Details of their recruitment efforts were confirmed by the office of Grand Ayatollah Mohaghegh Kabuli, an Afghan religious leader in the Iranian holy city of Qom. A member of the IRGC also confirmed the details, reported the newspaper.
“They [IRGC] find a connection to the refugee community and work on convincing our youth to go and fight in Syria,” said the office administrator of Ayatollah Kabuli. “They give them everything from salary to residency.”
The paper reported that Iran is also offering the refugees school registration for their children.
The paper quoted a Western official in Iran as saying recruiting Afghans was part of a strategy to send poor foot soldiers to the battle front, Agence France-Presse reported.
The aim was to reduce casualties among Iranian Guards personnel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, a close Tehran ally, the official said.
On Thursday, a funeral attended by local officials was held in the Iranian city of Mashhad, near the Afghan border, for four Afghan refugees killed in Syria, according to the newspaper.
However, Hamid Babaei, a spokesman for the U.N. mission to Iran, said the allegations were unfounded.
“Iranian presence in the country is solely advisory in nature in order to help counter the extremist... al-Qaeda groups from committing more massacre and bloodshed,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
Like Hezbollah and most Iranians, the Afghan recruits are Shiites and support Assad, whose Alawite faith is an offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Journal said.
Iran is also reportedly providing the Syrian regime with drones, the Daily Beast reported this week.
Some of these drones "were inspired by American technology and they're already playing a significant role in keeping Bashar Assad in power," the website reported.
Last week, Iran announced the replication of a U.S. drone that Tehran claimed it had captured in 2011.
Report: West fears Iran is supplying chlorine bombs to SyriaWestern security officials are reportedly investigating allegations that Iran supplied Chinese-made bombs to Syria Analysis
Khamenei aide: Lebanon is Iran’s defense frontlineFormer Iranian commander claims victory in Syria and boasts of Iran’s growing influence in Middle East Middle East
Three decades of ‘strategic resistance’ between Iran and SyriaWhat is the nature of the relationship between Iran and Hezbollah? It's not as simple as you may think Middle East
Syria: Iran sends 30,000 tons of food suppliesState TV says the massive shipment arrived at a port on the Mediterranean Sea Business
Muslim Congressman: Obama should’ve used force in SyriaA key problem of Washington’s strategy for Syria has been its inability to engage Iran, the lawmaker said Middle East
Obama on Saudi visit meets with King AbdullahObama’s visit came following difference between the two allies over Iran and Syria News
Dennis Ross says Obama is in for a tough time in Saudi ArabiaRoss argued that Saudi is wary of the commitment from the United States to take meaningful steps to help in the current crises with Iran, Syria and Egypt World News