Geopolitical Tensions: The Potential Cost for Afghans and Kurds in Syria

On January 27, three US forces were targeted in Jordan by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. In response, the US struck 85 targets in Iraq and Syria, many of which were empty, with reports of members of the Iranian-recruited Liwa Fatemiyoun killed. It is suggested that the Afghans were killed in the Syrian strikes where they were used as cannon-fodder by Iran. Additionally, on February 5, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announced that six of their fighters were killed in a plane attack originating from areas controlled by Syrian regime mercenaries. It is evident that Iranian-backed forces targeted the SDF as a form of retaliation against the US. The SDF have previously been targeted by Turkey, who seeks to get back at the US for its role in eastern Syria. It is believed that Iran has adopted a similar model, targeting the SDF and deploying Afghans in Syria to be easy targets of US retaliation. Amidst these incidents, the US service members in Jordan paid the ultimate price, while the main groups and countries involved have avoided direct confrontation. Nonetheless, the full details of these incidents remain unclear, but the ones who have the least role in the conflict are now paying the price.