“Iran Pays Afghans to Fight for Syria”
The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2014, p.A1
“Iran has been recruiting thousands of Afghan refugees to fight in Syria, offering $500 a month and Iranian residency to help the Assad regime beat back rebel forces, according to Afghans and Western officials. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, recruits and trains Shiite militias to fight in Syria. Details of their recruitment efforts were posted this week on a blog focused on Afghan refugees in Iran and confirmed by the office of Grand Ayatollah Mohaghegh Kabuli, an Afghan religious leader in the Iranian holy city of Qom. A member of the IRGC also confirmed the details.”
Quickie analysis: A good reminder of the chips-in sectarian nature of the conflict in Syria. Also a good reminder of why it will be impossible to negotiate Assad’s departure without Iran’s involvement.