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Published On: Mon, Nov 13th, 2017

Former Afghan intelligence chief warned against consequences of Iran’s recruitment of Afghan youth for Syria

nsnbc : Rahmatullah Nabil, Afghanistan’s former intelligence chief, has warned against the domestic and regional consequences of Iran’s recruitment of Afghan youth for the war in Syria.

Ramatullah Nabil_Afghanistan_2017Nabil warned against what he described as Iran’s massive recruitment and deployment of Afghan youth to Syria, stressing that it may shift the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. The former Afghan intelligence chief stressed that this was a quite dangerous move. Speaking to the New York Times, nabil said:

“This is quite dangerous: What happens to this Fatemiyoun force when the war in Syria is over? … The fear is that rivalry in the region, between Iran and Saudi, will shift to Afghanistan. And I think that clash is already shifting here.”

Nabil is not the only one who paid attention to Iran’s recruitment of Afghan boys. Last month Human Rights Watch published a report revealing that young Afghan boys as young as fourteen years old have been recruited by Iran to fight in Syria. According to the HRW report, the children have been recruited by the Revolutionary Guard of Iran and several of them have been killed and buried in the Iranian soil.

Afghan children as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division, an exclusively Afghan armed group supported by Iran that fights alongside government forces in the Syrian conflict,” the report said.

The report further added that the researchers of the organization have reviewed photographs of tombstones in Iranian cemeteries where the authorities buried combatants killed in Syria, and identified eight Afghan children who apparently fought and died in Syria.

The organization also added that since 2013 Iran has supported and trained thousands of Afghans, at least some of them undocumented immigrants, as part of the Fatemiyoun division, a group that an Iranian newspaper close to the government describes as volunteer Afghan forces, to fight in Syria. In May 2015, Defa Press, a news agency close to Iran’s armed forces, reported that the Fatemiyoun had been elevated from a brigade to a division.

All of the above is happening while there, over the last year, has been a marked increase in activities of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard units alongside Taliban units in western Afghanistan, and while Iran is using its clout in Syria and northern Iraq to support Shiite militia which are not only pitted against ISIS in Iraq and Syria (and Al-Nusra in Syria) but used to “control” Kurds and Yazidi in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

CH/L – nsnbc 13.11.2017

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