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30,000 Afghans Become Cannon Fodder Amid Homeland’s Collapse

SPUTNIK–About 30,000 Afghans are fighting foreign wars in Iraq and Syria according to former Afghani Prime Minister and leader of the Islamic Party, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

“The blood of Afghans is cheaper than oil,” Hekmatyar told Sputnik.

According to a high ranking source inside Afghanistan, the situation of Afghans in Iraq is deplorable and many of them, due to poverty, cannot return back to their home country.

Hekmatyar also suggested that Afghans have gone abroad to fight these wars in order to feed their poverty-stricken families.

“I lived in Baghdad for two years, so I know these poor and unfortunate Afghans very well. Their situation in Iraq is disappointing. They do not even have $106 to get a new Afghan passport. These Afghans cannot leave and are forced to stay in Iraq,” he said.

However, military analyst, retired Air Force General of Afghanistan Atikqullah Amarkhel told Sputnik that Afghans do not face any economic difficulties in Iraq or Syria.

“Some of them are paid by the Arab countries — for the war against the Shiites. Others are given money by Iran, so that after training in that country they would fight in Iraq and Syria on the side of government troops of these countries against Daesh,” Amarkhel said.

Regardless of the reasons behind these Afghans leaving their country, one thing is clear, decades of conflict and poverty have forced them to abandon their homeland and travel across the globe in search of livelihood.

Millions of Afghans continue to live in neighboring Pakistan and Iran while the conflict at home continues to uproot thousands of lives in Afghanistan.

Apart from a strong hold on the country by the Taliban insurgents, the country also faces a failing economy, war on drugs, and presence of foreign troops and lack of security.

Russia’s Federal Narcotics Control Service reported in 2015 that the drugs from Afghanistan generate profits estimated at $150 billion annually for those involved in the operations with them. Large shipments of Afghan heroin were said to be transited into the Balkan states and on into the European Union.

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In 2016 civilian casualties in Afghanistan were the highest recorded by the United Nations with nearly 11,500 non-combatants killed due to air raids and Daesh attacks. Amongst them one-third were children who were killed or wounded.


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