Tag: Iran

The Two Faces of the Fatemiyun (II): The women behind the fighters

Existing studies on the Fatemiyun have focused on the Afghan men fighting for the Iran-backed government in Syria. The women behind the fighters – wives, mothers and sisters – have remained invisible, despite the fact that many fighters decided to go to Syria with family concerns in mind. Based on interviews with ten women in […]

The Two Faces of the Fatemiyun (I): Revisiting the male fighters

Over the last eight years, thousands of Afghan men and some boys have fought on the side of the Iran-supported Assad government in Syria as members of the Fatemiyun group. Although they are sent to Syria from Iran and supported by the Iranian government, Tehran describes the group as “self-motivated.” This dispatch, which is the […]

Why Farah?  A short history of the local insurgency (II)

The Taleban have been a persistent and growing force in Farah since 2001, rebuilding their strength quietly after the US invasion and then seizing territory in remote districts. Insurgents now challenge pro-government figures for control of valuable trade and smuggling routes, assisted by the disarray among their opponents as the provincial government is hobbled by […]

Murad’s War: An Afghan face to the Syrian conflict

In Syria, the Assad regime is running out of soldiers and is increasingly relying on mercenaries. Many are Shiites – Lebanese Hezbollah militiamen, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis and Yemenis. But no group is represented to the degree that the Afghan Hazara are. AAN guest author Christoph Reuter (*) has met two of them – recruited in […]

Power to the People: How to extend Afghans’ access to electricity

More than four billion dollars have, to date, been spent on Afghanistan’s power infrastructure. And yet there are still considerable deficiencies, even in the country’s capital, which has seen most of the investment – and most of the progress. At the same time, the demand for electricity is rapidly growing and the supply-demand gap has […]

A new Afghan Shia Leader: Return to quietism versus political Islam?

A new leader is emerging in Afghanistan’s Shia community, one who so far has chosen to abstain from any presence or involvement in the religious or political affairs of the country. Ayatollah Mohammad Eshaq Fayaz is being supported by Afghan Shia – among them rather influential figures such as Second Vice President Sarwar Danish – […]