‘Just about money’: Iran recruits Afghans for Syria fight

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Fleeing grinding poverty and unemployment, thousands of Afghan Shiites have been recruited by Iran to defend Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, former fighters and rights activists say. Afghan men and boys as young as 14 are signing up to fight on the promise of money and legal residency in Shiite-dominated Iran, Assad’s regional ally, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Since 2013 the Afghans, including undocumented migrants living in Iran, have joined the Tehran-backed Fatemiyoun division fighters in Syria, said HRW and ex-members who spoke to AFP on condition their real names were not used.


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