Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has recruited thousands of undocumented Afghans in the country to fight in Syria since at least November 2013, according to a new Human Rights Watch report.
The organization said the refugees receive between 500 and 800 dollars per month to support the Syrian regime of President Bashar-al Assad.
“Iran has not just offered Afghan refugees and migrants incentives to fight in Syria, but several said they were threatened with deportation back to Afghanistan unless they did,” HRW emergencies director Peter Bouckaert said.
“Faced with this bleak choice, some of these Afghan men and boys fled Iran for Europe.”
About 3 million Afghans live in Iran, but less than a million have legal immigration status, the report said.
“Many (refugees) said the threat of arrest and forced conscription in Iran was an important contributing factor in their decision to leave Iran,” it said.
“Afghan fighters organized and commanded by Iranian military officials were fighting in many areas of Syria, including Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Deir al-Zor, Hama, Lattakia, and in areas near the Syrian border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights,” the report said, citing Afghan refugees.