Iran: Afghan refugees forced to fight for Assad in Syria

Afghanistan asks not to send its refugees to fight in Syria
Afghan mercenaries recruited by Iran to fight in Syria

Video footage disseminated on social media appears to support reports that Afghan migrants in Iran have been recruited by the Shia country’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to fight in Syria on behalf of dictator Bashar Assad.

“My brother was educated in Iran and after that he left for Syria and then news of his death arrived for us,” TOLO News quotes an Afghan migrant in Iran as saying.

While the Afghan Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the footage.

“A number of Afghan migrants have been living for years in Syria and many of them went to Syria from other countries and also a number went from Iran to Syria,” Mohammad Reza Bahrami the Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan, reportedly claimed, referring to Afghan nationals.

However, the video footage also “shows Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei embracing children and family members of [Afghan] victims killed in Syria and called them “martyrs” and “that Iran’s Supreme Leader’s representatives also visited the homes of Afghan refugees and thanked them for their sons participation in the Syria war.”

In late 2015, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the Islamic Republic is exploiting Shia Afghan refugees who have crossed the border from their home country into Iran by coercing them to fight alongside terrorists in Syria loyal to Assad, often leading to their death.

Iran airs propaganda video to recruit Afghans

Iran’s regime has released a new promotional video clip aimed at recruiting Afghan nationals to join the war in Syria in support of Assad’s regime.

The six-minute clip has been produced and broadcast by the state television channel Ofogh TV.

Among the state media agencies that have shown and distributed the clip is the Fars news agency, affiliated to the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

It has been dedicated to the “unsung heroes of the earth, the renowned of the skies, and the combatants of the Fatemiyoun Divison,” and includes scenes of a man from Afghanistan glossing over photos of Afghans who have died in the Syrian conflict. He is encouraged by a young boy and girl into going to the war front.

He then changes into army uniform in front of a picture of the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and wears the Fatemiyoun militia emblem on his arm and joins the war. Throughout the clip, another man sings a propaganda song with Afghan lyrics as part of the recruitment drive to encourage Afghans to take part in the war.