They were promised money, citizenship, and a better life for them and their families if they fought to preserve the Syrian dictatorship and, by extension, the Iranian Regime, so they joined the Shiite militias alongside Pakistanis, Iraqis and Lebanese people, also willing to risk their lives for a better life.
But now, the war is all but won, and the Iranian Regime has succeeded in keeping two dictatorships in power with one war, so what will the Regime do with these forces? Well, as it turns out, many are being sent to their home countries, where Afghan security officials who believe that Iran is using these fighters to infiltrate impoverished Shiite Muslim communities treat them with suspicion.
Given that Iran has a long history of doing just that in order to increase the spread of their evil revolution, that would not be a surprising thing. The Iranian Regime seeks to spread its influence across the Middle East to create a land bridge from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.
Mehdi, a 21-year-old Afghan who joined the Iran militias as a teenager due to immense poverty, said: “Here in Afghanistan we are afraid. They say we are all terrorists.”
He would only speak on the condition that his last name was not revealed because he fears retaliation multiple sides. Afghan security agencies may arrest them as traitors and the ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan may kill them for being Shiites. He was only trying to raise the money to escape to Europe, but when Europe’s borders closed, he was stuck in Iran and at that point, dying was a risk worth taking for a better life.
But what about that better life? Over 10,000 Afghan fighters have been returned to Afghanistan in extreme poverty with few or no legitimate options to find work.
Mehdi said: “I don’t know what my future brings. Maybe I become a thief — or maybe I go back to Syria.”
And the Afghan government and many experts believe the fighters could be mobilised again, causing chaos in the country as other groups pile in.
Bill Roggio, the editor of the Long War Journal, wrote: “Expect the Iranians to reconstitute their militias inside Afghanistan at some point. Iran does not discard assets in which it invests time, treasure, and expertise.”