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The Islamic Resistance in Bahrain against Israel

2024-05-14 16:41

Issam Khoury

#InternationalRelations, #RegionalSecurity , #Militias , #Security , #Bahrain , #SarayaAlAshtar , #Israel , #Iran , #GulfPolitics ,

The Islamic Resistance in Bahrain against Israel

"Islamic Resistance in Bahrain's Saraya al-Ashtar targeted an Israeli company, raising concerns about Iranian-backed militias threatening regional security."

The Israeli battles against the Palestinian Hamas organization in Gaza prompted several militias supportive of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to try to engage the Israeli army with marches and missiles to alleviate military pressure on Hamas. Perhaps the most prominent organizations that caused concern for the Israeli army are "Hezbollah, Ansar Allah movement in Yemen, Islamic Resistance in Iraq, in addition to armed cells affiliated with Islamic Jihad and Hamas in both Syria and Lebanon."


On May 2, 2024, a significant development occurred when the Islamic Resistance in Bahrain, Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" announced in an official statement its targeting of the Israeli land transport company "Trucknet" in the city of Eilat, Israel, with a march on May 27, 2024, causing significant damage.



The Israeli government did not announce such targeting, and perhaps its air defenses were able to intercept that march as they did with many marches sent by Tehran in its attack on Israel on April 14, 2024. However, the use of Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" cells for marches from Bahraini territories has several implications, including:

  1. The return of militias supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to Bahrain.
  2. Tehran's supply of advanced technology to Saraya al-Ashtr "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)", threatening Bahrain's national security.
  3. The possibility of using Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)"in complex military operations targeting Saudi national security if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia decides to move forward with the peace project with Israel.
  4. Weakness in the security level in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
  5. The possibility of Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" carrying out operations targeting Israeli interests within Bahrain, especially since Bahrain is a signatory to the Abraham Accords.
  6. Creating a Gulf Arab threat against American interests and military bases spread in the Arabian Gulf.



Certainly, the threat of Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" to the Hebrew state will not have a significant impact due to the geographical distance between Bahrain and Israel. However, Saraya al-Ashtar may carry out military operations against Israeli, British, and American interests in neighboring countries to Bahrain or on the shores of the Arabian Gulf "The Persian Gulf", mirroring what the Houthi Ansar Allah movement does in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.


The biggest and easiest target that Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" may achieve is targeting the neighboring city of Khobar, which represents the nerve center of the Saudi economy on the eastern coast. If this happens, Iran may hinder the economic development of Saudi Arabia, especially since the Houthi militia, supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, hinders economic development on the western coast of Saudi Arabia by repeatedly targeting Israeli territories with marches and missiles. This makes The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) doomed to failure due to the disruption caused by the Houthi movement in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and even in Saudi airspace.


Iran's plan to support Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" aims primarily to create chaos on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, which is a clear threat to Saudi national security.


From another angle, we see the reemergence of Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" cells in Bahrain coinciding with the signing of an economic cooperation project by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iraq, and Turkey to establish a Development Road project[1], that brings these countries together without involving Tehran. This has disturbed the leadership of the Iranian Islamic Republic, especially since this economic route undermines the need for Iran's economic project connecting Tehran to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.


Therefore, we expect operations carried out by Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)", supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, to increase from Bahrain, especially since their statement clearly stated (we will not stop our operations until the Zionist aggression on Gaza stops).


Therefore, Saudi Arabian intelligence and some of its military units may need to cooperate with Bahraini security agencies to try to control the security disorder that has affected Bahrain and led to the reemergence of Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" there. And certainly, the United States will participate in providing intelligence support for this operation, especially since the US Treasury Department classified two residents in Iran from these militias as terrorists on March 17, 2017, Ahmad Hasan Yusuf and Alsayed Murtadha Majeed Ramadhan Alawi[2], and the following year, in 2018, Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)"  was classified as a terrorist organization[3].



The media supported by Iran will portray Saraya al-Ashtar "al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)" as an oppressed group by the West supporting Israel, aiming to ignite Shia-Sunni differences on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is necessary for Arab media supporting the Western project to prepare their media tools to present a rational political discourse that distinguishes between terrorism and resistance ideology and exposes Iran's project aimed at creating chaos in stable countries through retrograde religious militias.


[1] Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, UAE sign preliminary deal to cooperate on Development Road project/ Reuters/ April 22, 2024



[2] State Department Terrorist Designations of Ahmad Hasan Yusuf and Alsayed Murtadha Majeed Ramadhan Alawi, 17 Mar 2017



[3] July 10, 2018/ Executive Order 13224/ al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)


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