One of the main Iranian proxy groups, Saraya al Ashtar, has threatened to target American and British intelligence operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The threat, the group’s first-ever-video statement, promises more attacks on the island denouncing “American and British intelligence plots” against the group. However, no specific details were given for this allegation.
Addressing the US and UK agencies directly, the spokesman in the video message, identified as a commander within Saraya al Ashtar says, “so we say to the conspirators against our people that your support for the occupying Khalifa regime will carry a high price for you and will make you a legitimate target for our strikes.”
The group was added to a list of designated terrorist organisations by the US government noting it is “yet another in a long line of Iranian sponsored terrorists who kill on behalf of a corrupt regime.”
It also said that the “United States sees plainly what Iran is trying to do to Bahrain through its proxy.”
As reported by the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, Saraya al Ashtar, also known as the Al Ashtar Brigades, is one of Iran’s main proxy forces in Bahrain. Several of its leaders are based in Iran, including US-designated terrorists Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed and Hasan Yusuf.
The group, which claimed responsibility for over 20 attacks in Bahrain, were also added to a designated terror list by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt in 2017.
Last year, the United States designated two members of Saraya al Ashtar as global terrorists. It noted that one of the individuals, Hasan Yusuf, is an Iran-based senior member of the group.
In Jan. 2016, a cell linked to a militant group was arrested by Bahraini authorities. According to officials, the two-person cell was planning to execute “a series of dangerous bombings” in Bahrain.
The group, which has strong links to Iran also do not conceals its affinity to the regime. Following a re-branding to include flags resembling those of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its logo, the group in a statement affirmed loyalty to Iran saying, “We believe that the commander and ruler of the Islamic religion is the line of the two imams, Khomeini and Khamenei.”
Saraya Al-Ashtar, according to the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, has not claimed any attacks since 2017. This, the report said, is meant to show that the group, despite Bahraini security operations against it, is still alive.
“And while Saraya al-Ashtar has yet to claim any attacks on American or British personnel or institutions in Bahrain since its inception in 2013, the video reaffirms that it, and Iran, see these countries as legitimate targets,” the report added.
Source: DT News