By Staff writer, Iran Probe
Sunday, 31 January 2016
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) monitoring group published a report saying that Iran has "recruited thousands of undocumented Afghans living there" to fight in Tehran-organized militias in Syria, the Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL) reported yesterday. The HRW January 29 report says Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been offering Afghan refugees and migrants "incentives" to fight in Syria since at least late 2013. Some of the Afghans that HRW spoke to said that "they were threatened with deportation back to Afghanistan" if they refused. The report suggests that Iran's coercive tactics have prompted many Afghan males to flee Iran and head for Europe. Iran officially claims the Afghans fighting in Syria are volunteers.
There are other reports indicating the Iranian regime’s destructive role in both Iraq and Syria as it formed and now deploys Shiite militias under so called “Popular mobilization” (Al-Hashd al-Shaabi) for waging sectarian war in Iraq and for fighting against the Syrian Liberation Army under so called “defending the Holy shrine” near Damascus. Baria Alamuddin published an article, in Al Arabiya News website, revealing how the Iranian regime benefits from the ISIS in Iraq and Syria saying, ‘In the early months, as ISIS extended its control over parts of eastern and northern Syria, the regime and organization studiously avoided fighting each other. Assad and his Iranian powerbrokers even financed ISIS by buying its oil.
Its takeover of western Iraq presented a golden opportunity for Tehran to extend its stranglehold over the Iraqi state. However, Iran’s extended influence went far beyond this. The consolidation of numerous Iran-sponsored militias into Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) gave Tehran direct control over the most effective fighting force in Iraq after the disintegration and humiliation of the national army… The relationship between ISIS and al-Hashd al-Shaabi is similarly complex. They are mortal enemies, coming from different extremes of the sectarian divide and being pitted against each other, but they are each other’s reason for existing.’