Former Afghan Intelligence Chief hits out hard at Iran, warns of dangerous move

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Former Afghan Intelligence Chief hits out hard at Iran, warns of dangerous move

KABUL - The former Afghan intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil has warned that the deployment of the Afghan youths to Syria may shift the Iran-Saudi rivalry to Afghanistan TOLO News has reported.

Amid growing concerns regarding the massive recruitment of the Afghan youths by Iran for the Syrian conflict, Nabil has called the move by Iran as a quite dangerous move.

“This is quite dangerous: What happens to this Fatemiyoun force when the war in Syria is over?” Nabil told The New York Times.

“The fear is that rivalry in the region, between Iran and Saudi, will shift to Afghanistan. And I think that clash is already shifting here,” he added.

This comes as the Human Rights Watch in its latest report revealed last month that young Afghan boys as young as fourteen years old have been recruited by Iran to fight in Syria.

According to the Human Right Watch report, the children have been recruited y the Revolutionary Guard of Iran and several of them have been killed and buried in the Iranian soil.

Afghan children as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division, an exclusively Afghan armed group supported by Iran that fights alongside government forces in the Syrian conflict,” the report said.

The report further added that the researchers of the organization have reviewed photographs of tombstones in Iranian cemeteries where the authorities buried combatants killed in Syria, and identified eight Afghan children who apparently fought and died in Syria.

The organization also added that since 2013 Iran has supported and trained thousands of Afghans, at least some of them undocumented immigrants, as part of the Fatemiyoun division, a group that an Iranian newspaper close to the government describes as volunteer Afghan forces, to fight in Syria. In May 2015, Defa Press, a news agency close to Iran’s armed forces, reported that the Fatemiyoun had been elevated from a brigade to a division.