The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
Following the U.S. assassination of IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and PMF deputy-commander 'Abd Al-Mahdi Al-Muhandis, several Shi'ite factions in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia threatened to avenge their deaths by targeting U.S. interests.
Militias In Bahrain: American Forces And Interests In The Country Are Legitimate Targets
On January 3, 2020, several Bahraini militias issued a joint statement in response to the killing of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis. The statement was issued by the following organizations: Saraya Al-Mukhtar (The Al-Mukhtar Brigades), Saraya Tha'er Allah (The Vengeance of Allah Brigades), Saraya Al-Muqawama Al-Sha'biya (the Popular Resistance Brigades), Saraya Al-Ashtar (the Al-Ashtar Brigades, a U.S.-designated terror organization), and Saraya Wa'ed Allah (the Promise of Allah Brigades).
In the statement, the militias declared their intention to respond to the killing of the two senior figures, adding that they view all American interests and the American presence in Bahrain as legitimate targets. It should be noted that the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is in the Bahraini capital of Manama.
The statement reads: "America, the country of arrogance, and its stupid president Trump have perpetrated a great and treacherous crime by assassinating the jihadi warrior and great commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force, as well as the great jihadi warrior Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy head of the PMF, along with many other commanders and jihadi warriors of the resistance axis."
SUPPORT OUR WORK
The factions sent condolences and blessings for their deaths to the entire Islamic nation, writing that the two commanders "left behind them thousands of resistance fighters" who are armed and ready to follow in their footsteps.
They added: "We, all the factions of the Islamic resistance in Bahrain, stress that the current campaign is a campaign of truth vs. falsehood, and we are an inseparable part of this campaign, in which victory will surely be on the side of our resistance axis. We are party to this open campaign, and [therefore] it behooves us to respond with determination to this crime and to lead the response to the tyrants, headed by the arrogant Americans. We view all [U.S.] interests, and [the American] presence in Bahrain, as legitimate targets for us, and we will play a role and take a position in avenging the precious blood of the righteous martyrs…"
Hizbullah Al-Hijaz Brigades: The Only Possible Reaction Is To Avenge Their Death, Expel The Americans From The Region And Topple The Saudi Regime
The Hizbullah Al-Hijaz Brigades likewise responded to the assassination in a January 5, 2020 statement, which said that the only possible reaction was to avenge the death of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis, expel the U.S. forces from the region, destroy Israel and overthrow the Saudi regime. The statement read: "We firmly condemn the cowardly terrorist operation and heinous crime perpetrated by the Great Satan – the U.S. regime – when it targeted the resistance axis commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the deputy-commander of the Iraqi PMF, Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, and those who were with them. By committing this crime, as well as the rocket attack on the facilities of the Hizbullah Brigades, [which is part of the] PMF, in Iraq, the U.S. violated every international norm, and especially [its] signed security agreements with the Iraqi government.
"The American regime and its agents in the region, the Sa'ud [royal family], thought that by killing the jihad fighters and the resistance leaders they would weaken our determination. They did not know that death does not frighten us, for death for us is joy and martyrdom is an honor bestowed by Allah. The nation that produced the martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani and the martyr Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, and the other leaders and martyrs, will produce many others like them, who will continue on this sacred and divine path [of fighting] America, the Great Satan. We and our brothers in the resistance axis will take no decision except to avenge the blood of the martyrs, expel America from the region, destroy the Zionist entity and topple the Sa'ud regime.
"We call upon our people and the peoples of the region to take responsibility and understand, in this dangerous phase, that the true enemy is America, which seeks to create chaos and wars, and to force our peoples to normalize [their relations] with the occupying Zionist entity. [The U.S.] is the one that supports the criminal Sa'ud [regime] that kills our brothers in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Bahrain, and kills our people in the Arabian Peninsula, and it is the one that supplies [this regime] with military gear and deadly weapons."