DAYRO ZCURO, Syria — On Sunday, local media in Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) reported that more than 200 Afghan members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) withdrew from the city of Al Bukamal and the surrounding countryside east, reportedly heading to the Iraq border, presumably on their way to Iran.
Source indicated that the withdrawal of the Afghans was allegedly due to their mistreatment by commanders and the deaths of five of their number from the coronavirus. The five men were reportedly hastily buried near Al-Hassian in the Al Bukamal countryside “without respect” and without informing their families, which the rest of the Afghans considered a grave insult.
IRGC Command did not provide the five dead with any medical care during their illness, which increased the resentment of the other Afghan fighters who insisted on leaving.
The source also pointed out that after the withdrawal, Iranian militias were forced to redeploy their forces from other areas to make up for the withdrawal of the Afghan fighters, stretching their already thin forces in the area which have suffered repeated casualties in clashes with the Islamic State.