As is known, the Iranian regime widely uses people from the Shiite communities of the neighboring countries in the Syrian war; mainly Iraq, Afghanistan, and Shiites from Pakistan to a lesser degree. This article is about Afghan and Pakistani fighters, who give their lives for “Greater Iran.”
Afghans fighting in Syria are probably one of the militant units controlled by Tehran. They are often used to attack opponents’ positions, and they have the highest rate of losses. Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a few million of Afghans have lived in Iran. Most of them do not have any documents, and they remain in the country illegally.
That makes it difficult for them to integrate into the Iranian society and puts them in a vulnerable position. It is needless to say that the majority of Afghans live in extreme poverty in Iran. The Iranian regime could always exploit vulnerable groups.
The formation of Liwa Fatemiyoun with a high concentration of Afghan fighters was completed in 2014. However, the Afghans had been fighting in Syria and suffering many losses long before that date.
Though the Iranian propaganda tries to cover up the fact that Liwa Fatemiyoun is controlled entirely by IRGC and presents the Afghan fighters (as well as others) as the defenders of “Holy places”, operating at their discretion, numerous testimonials easily expose this misinformation. It is a fact that Afghans are mainly (not always) recruited from among the Afghans who live in Iran illegally and don’t want to return to Afghanistan.
Iranian authorities offer the fighters a monthly salary and legal residency in Iran to them and their families, even though these people are refugees and they have been living in this country for decades. The Iranian authorities should had given residence to them many years ago. Not always this process of involving the Afghans in military actions is voluntary.
It is a sad fact that Iranians use 12- to16-year-old Afghan teenagers as cannon fodder in Syria. Human Rights Watch recorded the facts of using child soldiers. Such actions of the Iranian regime may be regarded as crimes against humanity.
Iranian commanders have no mercy for Afghans and throw them to hotspots (often without backup), so the Afghans have one of the highest rates in terms of loss of lives. In January 2018, Radio Farda reported about 2,000 dead Afghans, quoting the Commander of “Fatemiyoon Division.” Of course, this number might not reflect the real figure; moreover, the number of deaths has changed since that time. However, even taking this figure, we can understand that the rate of irreparable losses is too highAli Hajizade