Two Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq have called for terrorist attacks to be conducted in Saudi Arabia, raising concerns about the increased targeting of Saudi government, civilian and industrial facilities.
The spokesmen for the Kata'ib Hezbollah and Al-Nujaba Movement militias released statements on Saturday urging "Jihadi operations" within the Kingdom. Kata'ib Hezbollah spokesman Abu Ali Al-Askari said that, "You won't be safe from the cells of the treachery and the hypocrisy of 'the rest of the malicious tree' unless Jihadi operations are transferred to Saudi Arabia."
Both groups fall under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), an Iranian-backed assortment of mainly Shia militias which supplement and effectively fight alongside the Iraqi armed forces.
In recent years, Kata'ib Hezbollah has been particularly controversial, with the group being suspected of conducting an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil pipelines last year and being designated by the United States as a terrorist group.
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The attack on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities served as evidence that the terror groups, which many speculate acted on behalf of Iran, are capable of "moving the battle" into the Kingdom and plotting further attacks across the country.
The spokesman for Al-Nujaba, Nasr Al-Shammari, also called for Saudi Arabia to be targeted and claimed that 1,000 Saudi Arabian fighters had entered Iraq over the past year.
Al-Shammari accused the Saudi fighters of killing Iraqis and destroying their homes. He urged the group's followers to, "Think about it, dear Iraqis, this is why we will retaliate for every innocent drop of blood that was shed."
Al-Nujaba militia was also designated as a terrorist organisation by the US last year. Its full name is Harakat Hezbollah Al-Nujaba, and it runs Al-Nujaba TV in Iraq.
America and Iran are indicating that they don't want further escalation