The Afghan Taliban government’s Minister for Refugees and Repatriation Khalil Rahman Haqqani has said that Iran is sending former Afghan soldiers to fight in Ukraine. Haqqani’s statement corroborates earlier media reports stating that Iran has an ongoing policy of using Afghans to fight as part of pro-Iranian militias, especially in the Fatemiyoun Brigade.
Khalil Rahman Haqqani made the statement on a visit to Parwan
The Afghan news website ToloNews quoted Khalil Rahman Haqqani as saying that the former Afghan soldiers have also been sent to fight in Syria and Iraq as well as in the war in Ukraine.
“I have shared this issue with them (Iranian authorities); Afghans have previously been used in the fighting in Iraq and Syria, and it may have occurred in the war in Ukraine as well,” Khalil Rahman Haqqani said on a visit to Parwan province.
According to the report, Afghan military analysts said that Iran has a policy of using former Afghan soldiers as a leverage. “They [Afghans] were forced to contact other groups to provide for their family’s costs, not only in Iraq and Syria but also in the Ukraine war, where they were also recruited by the Russians,” said Sarwar Niazi, a former Afghan soldier.
Military affairs expert Sadiq Shinwari also noted that Iran was using immigrant Afghans, who go to Iran for jobs, to fight in different countries. “The host nations, including Iran, should not use Afghan immigration as a military force,” Sadiq Shinwari said.
According to the report, the Iranian Embassy in Kabul denied the claim that Iran is sending former Afghan soldiers to fight in the war in Ukraine.