By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Syrian government forces and their allies in areas south of Aleppo suffered major casualties and at least 15 others, including a number of Iranians, were taken captive, reports indicate.
Various battles south of Aleppo between the al-Fath Army coalition and the Syrian regime army and its allies have intensified in the past few days.
Al-Fath forces also destroyed an operations room associated to the Assad forces, killing all the commanders inside.
The al-Sham news network cited on the ground activists saying the al-Tele region witnessed seven massive explosions. This area is located east of Aleppo and is considered a vital center for regime forces and their affiliated militias.
Various reports indicate 70 members of the Assad army and their allies have been killed in recent days as armed groups have been seen carrying out surprise attacks against their positions, especially south of Aleppo. Regime forces have continuously responded to these attacks with various types of airstrikes.
Last month the al-Fath Army staged a large attack against the town of Khan Touman, located south of Aleppo, killing a large number of Syrian regime troops, members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Lebanese Hezbollah militants. This town has been under their control ever since.
In the meantime, the main Syrian opposition alliance is raising serious concerns over Iran’s campaign of recruiting and training thousands of Afghan men to fight in Syria, VOA News reported.
The displaced Afghan population is being forced into indulging in activities that are completely in contrast to international standards, an Afghan government spokesman said.
“There has been increasing evidence Tehran is recruiting men from among an estimated three million Afghans in Iran, with only about a million Afghans having a formal legal status as refugees,” VOA added.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is mobilizing a multi-national Shiite armed militia to boost the ranks and files of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The Afghans recruited by Iran are from the impoverished and very poor ethnic Shiite Hazara community and they are all pledged monthly salaries and residency permits in Iran in return for a “sacred mission” promised by Iranian authorities aimed at defending sacred shrines in Damascus from Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, ISIL). However, the Afghan recruits find themselves fighting in Aleppo, and nowhere near Damascus and the promised holy shrines.
The Human Rights Watch reported earlier this year an estimated 10,000 Afghans may have already been recruited, trained and dispatched to Syria by Iran. Various cities in Iran are also witnessing funerals held for Afghans killed in the war in Syria, and at times Iranian officials are seen attending these gatherings.