Iran Regime Enlisting Afghan Minors to Fight Abroad

NCRI Staff

NCRI - It has been discovered that the Iran regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been recruiting children to go and fight in Syria on Iran’s behalf. The children are Afghan immigrants that live in Iran and are as young as only 14 years-old.

Researchers at Human Rights Watch have found this out by reviewing gravestones at cemeteries in Iran.

The young Afghans fought in the Fatemiyoun division which is an armed group made up exclusively of Afghans. They fight in Syria alongside Bashar al Assad’s troops.

It must be reminded that it is illegal to recruit children under the age of 15. It is considered a war crime.

Reports from Iran’s state media have also highlighted that there have been numerous Afghan children that have been killed at war in Syria.

As always the masters of deception, the Iranian authorities have faked some of the information on some of the graves. A few of the tombstones indicate that the deceased was over the age of 18, but families have confirmed that before joining the division, their real age was not taken into account. This would indicate that there are even more cases of underage children being recruited than what it appears.

 

Human Rights Watch has called on Iran to immediately stop recruiting children to fight on its behalf. The organisation said that it is the responsibility of Iran to protect any minors living there. The Middle East director, Sarah Leah Whitson, said: “Iran should immediately end the recruitment of child soldiers and bring back any Afghan children it has sent to fight in Syria. Rather than preying on vulnerable immigrant and refugee children, the Iranian authorities should protect all children and hold those responsible for recruiting Afghan children to account.”

The situation of the Afghan immigrants in Iran is desperate. The Iranian authorities have exploited them and many of the men have been sent to Syria to fight. Iran is making financial promises to them to encourage these people that are living without papers and without any proper rights. Iran states that the Afghans “volunteer” to fight for Iran, but it is evident that they do not see that they have any other choice.

In the past four years, thousands of Afghans have been trained by the IRGC. The Fatemiyoun division was initially just a brigade, but it grew in numbers and became a special division. Although the number of soldiers fighting in the division is unknown, it is expected that there are around 14,000 men in it.

Last year, an Iranian news agency reported that the father of an Afghan child soldier that died in Syria claimed his birth year on his grave stone is 1995, when in actual fact it is 1999. The authorities did not ask his son for any identification or birth certificate when he joined the division.

Another Afghan also said that the authorities are trying to recruit people by telling them that they will get a residency permit if they sign up to the division.