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Leaving Afghanistan (full documentary) | FRONTLINE

As the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war, what is America leaving behind? An on-the-ground report from Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi on the Taliban’s advance, fears of civil war, and Iran’s growing influence.

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“It’s worse than the past. It’s worse than what I’ve seen in my life,” says Quraishi, who has covered the war between the Taliban and the American-led coalition since its inception. “I can see a civil war in Afghanistan again,” he says.

Quraishi uncovers claims that an Iranian-backed Afghan militia, the Fatemiyoun Brigade — drawn from Shia Afghan refugees in Iran, and also from members of the Hazara Shia minority living in Afghanistan — that has fought in Syria is now operating on the ground inside Afghanistan. Some say the Fatemiyoun is even present within the country’s government and military. Iran’s foreign minister said Iran had supported Afghan fighters in Syria but that they are not active in Afghanistan now.

Quraishi gains access to a militant wing of the Taliban that’s fighting what it says are Fatemiyoun members sent from Tehran. The leader of that Taliban branch vowed to kill thousands of Hazara people as a “lesson” to future generations.

And Quraishi examines how, as a Shia minority within Afghanistan, the Hazaras have long been the target of persecution and attacks by the Sunni Taliban — a drumbeat that’s intensifying in light of both the U.S. withdrawal, and the association of some Hazaras with the Fatemiyoun and Iran, a Shia power.

Directed by Jamie Doran, “Leaving Afghanistan” is a powerful look at the potential consequences of the U.S. withdrawal.

#Afghanistan #Documentary #Conflict Reporting

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