Is Sectarian War Wanted in Afghanistan?

Similar Posts

This post is also available in: Türkçe Русский

It can be said that one of the most important agenda items of the international community is Afghanistan-centered developments because, the states are closely following the events in Afghanistan. In this sense, it is seen that actors with global goals such as the United States of America (USA), France, Russia and China act in line with different future projections.

The Washington administration wants the region to be associated with radicalization and terrorism after the withdrawal process completed on August 31, 2021, and believes that the situation in question will destabilize the region through the formation of a chaotic environment, especially by limiting Russia and China. France thinks that it can assume the leadership of Continental Europe with its colonial activities outside the continent, and in this context, it is making moves that will drag Afghanistan into civil war through Penshir, through Bernard Henri Levy, who can be introduced as the “Lawrence of our Age”. Moscow and Beijing are also trying to fill the power gap in the country; on the other hand, it strives to include the Taliban in international cooperation in order to prevent Afghanistan-based instability and terrorism that could sabotage the security environment. In addition, Turkey, Pakistan and Central Asian republics, which are among the states of the region, develop an approach that prioritizes regional security and seek ways to eliminate migration-related risks.

The increasing activity of the terrorist organization DAESH has increased the concerns about Afghanistan. It is known that DAESH, which is mostly composed of foreign fighters and is known to have moved from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan under the escort of Western states, received declarations of allegiance from some terrorist organizations based in Central Asia and South Asia, especially Afghanistan, following the claim of global caliphate and operating under the so-called Emirate of Khorasan.

This situation means that DAESH is organized through sleeper cells in Afghanistan. However, it should be stated that there is no concrete equivalent of this Salafi terrorist organization among the Afghan people, the majority of whom are Hanafi. In this regard, DAESH is in the position of a terrorist organization that consists mostly of legionnaires and can be used as a proxy element in proxy wars for imperial purposes. As a matter of fact, the activities of DAESH have increased in parallel with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, in other words, the transition to a new stage in the “New Great Game”. In particular, the terrorist attacks on the International Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021 have been interpreted as the return of DAESH. Since that date, DAESH sleeper cells have been activated and different terrorist attacks of various sizes have occurred in Afghanistan. It has even been seen that the Taliban and DAESH clash occasionally.

In the recent period, on October 8, 2021, the DAESH attacked on a Shiite Mosque in the Saidabad region of Kunduz province of Afghanistan during Friday Prayer. This has led to concerns that the civil war scenario in Afghanistan may manifest as sectarian wars. Because 46 people lost their lives and 143 people were injured in the bomb attack on the Shiite Mosque.[1] Naturally, this attracted attention as a development that increased the anger of the Shiites.

It can be claimed that Afghanistan, which is not demographically homogeneous, has an environment convenient for ethnic and group wars. In this context, DAESH may be brought up in terms of fighting the Taliban and thus causing the Taliban to lose its reputation for not providing stability in the country, but also causing sectarian wars on the occasion of attacks targeting Shiites because, this possibility Is a very reasonable scenario for the forces that want to cause chaos in the region. Due to the fact that the statements from Tehran regarding Afghan Shiites point out that Iran has a revisionist approach that wants to fill the power gap in Afghanistan in a possible civil war.

As it is known, Iran organized Afghan Shiites to fight against DAESH with the claim of protecting the holy places, and this group, mostly consisting of Hazaras, took part in the Syrian Civil War under the consultancy of the Revolutionary Guards Army (RGA) under the name of Fatemiyoun Brigade. Already, The Tehran administration is seeking an anti-Taliban solution that tries to manipulate the Hazaras and their party, Hizb-e Wahdat, through names such as Muhammed Muhakkık and Kerim Halili. In this respect, it would not be surprising at all that the Tehran administration made the Fatimiyyun Brigade fight in Afghanistan under the leadership of the Shiite warlord Alipur Shamshir. It can be foreseen that the necessary coordination in this regard can be provided by the RGA.

As can be understood, the process in Afghanistan relies on great resemblance to the examples in Syria and Iraq. While the examples in question provided a clearing for the terrorist organization DAESH, at the same time, the Shiites were placed on the target board in a way that would accelerate the division of the Islamic World through this organization, and the Shiites in need of protection “came to the rescue of Iran”. The DAESH’s attack on October 8, 2021 also indicates that the events in Iraq and Syria may be repeated in Afghanistan. This has happened in the Middle East, as Western states “threatened Iran” through DAESH, while many states with the same threat perception confirmed their loyalty to the West.

Apparently, the same scenario is desired to be applied over Afghanistan. Therefore, it can be said that the imperial powers first opened up space for DAESH and then Iran, and aimed to consolidate their alliance relations through the security dilemma they created. On the other hand, Iran is ready to evaluate the gap that the West will open in terms of expanding its sphere of influence by turning crises into opportunities. It can even be claimed that there is a secret agreement between the West and Iran, which is nameless but works in practice. The aim of the process is that the West, which strengthens its alliance relations, destabilizes the rising Asia through chaos and civil war. A sectarian war will also serve this purpose.

[1] “US Condemns Mosque Attack Claimed by Daesh in Afghanistan”, Yeni Safak,, (Date of Accession: 09.10.2021).

Dr. Doğacan BAŞARAN
Dr. Doğacan BAŞARAN, 2014 yılında Gazi Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Yüksek lisans derecesini, 2017 yılında Giresun Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı’nda sunduğu ‘’Uluslararası Güç İlişkileri Bağlamında İkinci Dünya Savaşı Sonrası Hegemonik Mücadelelerin İncelenmesi’’ başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Doktora derecesini ise 2021 yılında Trakya Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı‘nda hazırladığı “İmparatorluk Düşüncesinin İran Dış Politikasına Yansımaları ve Milliyetçilik” başlıklı teziyle alan Başaran’ın başlıca çalışma alanları Uluslararası ilişkiler kuramları, Amerikan dış politikası, İran araştırmaları ve Afganistan çalışmalarıdır. Başaran iyi derecede İngilizce ve temel düzeyde Farsça bilmektedir.