US Frames Afghan Shia Militiamen as an ‘Immediate Threat’

For having fought ISIS in Syria and Iraq

Helped liberate Palmyra from ISIS in 2016 among other campaigns

Throughout the US occupation of Afghanistan, one of the ongoing examples of violent persecution of religious minorities was the Hazaras, Afghanistan’s Shi’ite population. [As well as during Taliban rule.] After doing little about this, the US and Afghanistan are now looking to reframe the Shi’ites, and in particular the Fatemiyoun Shi’ite militias, as an “immediate threat” to national security.

Radio Free Europe, ever dutifully playing up these narratives, introduced the story of a few thousand of the Fatemiyoun returning to Afghanistan after volunteering to fight against ISIS in Syria. Afghan nationals, Shi’ite militias, and fighting against ISIS, it’s not surprising what happened next.

The Fatemiyoun are being reframed as tantamount to Iranians, with US Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of CENTCOM, making veiled concerns about Iranian “proxies” in Afghanistan, and saying he is “very concerned.”

The Afghan government usually doesn’t go out of its way to antagonize the Shi’ite minority, since that’s really more the priority of Islamists. After Gen. McKenzie, however, Afghan intelligence officials are also reframing the returnees as a possible immediate threat, saying that threat could rapidly grow if the Fatemiyoun established a central leadership for its group, which is spread out around the country.

The reality is these aren’t “Iranian proxies” any more than the rest of the Shi’ites are, and it’s just a convenient excuse to create a new scapegoat for future failures, something never in short supply in Afghanistan.

Worse still, the Afghan Shi’ites are under constant, often violent attack, and framing them as outsiders and proxies of the Iranian Ayatollahs are the exact same narrative that Islamists have used to justify attacking them.


  1. […] Read further at Anti-Empire […]

  2. thomas malthaus says

    The January 27 Air Force plane crash in Afghanistan. Ten people were lost including the CIA’s Mike D’Andrea.

  3. Undecider says

    The US government even views American militias as an immediate threat. What else is new?

  4. Mary E says

    Say what?? Threats to national security? Whose? Oh, the US security!? haha
    How totally nonsensical that sounds…and how totally ignorant the US people are talking…just ridiculous! If the US military was not in Afghanistan, then there would be no problems for them…they get what they ask for – the other side just has to do it stronger and longer! Get them them out of there! They are making asses out of their own country!

  5. James Willy says

    Now why don’t they team up and then they could kill more seals or these green beret maggots. Not enough of them have been killed yet. More need to die. Go Taliban. Kill more yankys. Bravo.

  6. Monte McKenzie says

    pitiful waste of manpower and money!
    America is actually falling apart! More Hydro Dams are looking scary and no effort to convert our national transportation to efficient low energy solutions and no localized food production programs, these and more problems are setting America up for gigantic disasters !
    If we are lucky enough to avoid nuclear war!

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