Iran-linked Group Claims Saudi Mortar Bombings

Iraqi Shi'ite militia claims mortar bombings on remote Saudi area. Group is closely linked with Iran.

Ari Yashar, Ari Sofer ,

Illustration: terrorists firing mortar
Illustration: terrorists firing mortar
Flash 90

Six mortar bombs landed in a remote part of Saudi Arabia near the Iraq and Kuwait border on Thursday. The attack, still under investigation, was claimed by the Iraqi Shi'ite militia group Al Mukhtar Army, which is closely aligned with Iran.

Watheq Al-Battat, founder and leader of Al Mukhtar Army, said the bombings were "a warning message to Saudis to tell them that their border stations and patrol are within our range of fire," reports BBC.

The clash highlights the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a rivalry that could potentially turn nuclear given Saudi Arabia's reported intention to obtain nuclear warheads from Pakistan should Iran break the nuclear threshold. 

Tensions between the two nations have been raised over the war in Syria. Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia backs the Sunni rebels, while Iran and Shi'ite terrorist groups such as Al Mukhtar support President Bashar Assad's regime.

The connection between Al Mukhtar and Iran was made very clear in an interview Al-Battat gave on an Iraqi TV station. The interview, which aired October 23, was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

In the interview Al-Battat said that were a war to break out between Iraq and Iran he would side with Iran against his own country. He added that he would fight for the "Infallible Imam," Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, no matter what.

When asked if Iran was behind Al Mukhtar, Al-Battat responded that in terms of politics, "our authority is the leader, Ali Khamenei." 

According to Al-Battat his terrorist organization boasts 23,600 "martyrdom-seekers," has international members from Syria, Egypt and Iran, and even members in Sweden.