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Home | Editorial | Afghans involvement in Syrian war intolerable

Afghans involvement in Syrian war intolerable

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Afghans involvement in Syrian war intolerable
 The long-decades war and poverty have badly impacted the Afghans live and millions of the country’s people came of age in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran or as workers and the migration continued, but the past few years have added a new lethal geography to the Afghan diaspora: the battlefields of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.
A few months after Iran asked Hezbollah to join the fighting in Syria alongside Assad’s forces, it began raising other militias known as “The Fatemiyoun Division (formerly Brigade), a militia of Afghan refugees, which was formed around early 2014 and trained by both Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah veterans. Its strength has been estimated at 8,000 to and 14,000 men. The Iranian authorities maintain the fighters are volunteers.
The initial recruits to the Fatemiyoun Division were initially those Afghans, who settled in Iran after the Soviet occupation and the civil war in the early 1990s and the subsequent Taliban rule. Their recruitment had echoes of how Pakistan — the other major host of the Afghan refugee population — recruited the Afghan refugees and their children to form the Taliban and escalate militancy in Afghanistan.
Sent by Iran to support the government of Bashar al-Assad, over 2,000 Afghans have been killed fighting in Syria, a media report said on Sunday.S cultural official of the Fatemiyoun Brigade of Afghan recruits, told an Iranian media outlet the men had been fighting in Syria for five years.
According to AFP quoting the Fatemiyoun Brigade officials that the brigade has given more than 2,000 martyrs and 8,000 wounded for Islam.Comprised of recruits from Afghanistan, the Fatemiyoun is said to be the biggest military unit deployed by Iran in Iraq and Syria.
The brigade officails saying that around 3,000 Afghansaloo died fighting Iraq in the 1980s.
Despite Iran’s denials, Tehran is frequently accused of trying to prop up the Assad regime in different ways, including the recruitment of Afghan men and children to fight in Syria.
In the past few years, Iranians have expanded recruitment to undocumented Afghans, who ecently arrived from Afghanistan in search of economic opportunity. Apart from the refugees’ economic anxiety and precarious legal status, the Iranians exploit the faith of Afghan refugees to recruit them to fight for the Assad regime in Syria.
Iranian propaganda framed the Syrian war to these refugees as a struggle for the defense and protection of the faith and its holy sites. The fighters have little or no knowledge of the political-security context into which they are marching.
Meanwhile Following the news that 2,000 Afghans have been killed in the Syrian war while fighting Daesh, the presidential palace said Afghans should not be killed in any other countries at war. 
President’s deputy spokesman said the Afghan government is against its citizens’ involvement in proxy wars in other countries.   
The Interior Ministry has asked those youths who participate in Syria’s war to rather fight Daesh in Afghanistan under the structure of the security forces if they really have the motivation to do so.
This is an alarming issue that Afghans who have escaped war in their own country are sent to another war which is unrelated to them. 
Iran should immediately end the recruitment of Afghans and bring them back from Syria. Rather than preying on vulnerable immigrant and refugees, the Iranian authorities should protect Afghans and hold those responsible for recruiting Afghans to account.
The Afghan government together withthe United Nations should investigate Iran’s recruitment of Afghans for Syrian war and should consider adding the organizations in charge to the annual list of perpetrators of violations against human rights.
Afghans have passed decades of war and violence and to seek a better life, they have migrated to neighboring countries. Iran should be improving protections for Afghan refugee, not leaving them vulnerable to unscrupulous recruiting agents. The neighboring country should immediately international conventionsand ensure that Afghan children are not being recruited to fight in Syria.
 

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