New Militant Organization Allegedly Behind Riyadh Drone Attack

A supposedly new militant organization has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s drone attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Righteous Promise Brigades, which has come to the forefront for the first time, issued a statement on the messaging app Telegram, saying it carried out a drone attack in the Saudi capital Riyadh. 

Many witnesses told Al Arabia TV that they heard two explosions and witnessed a small crest of fume above the capital. 

The attack was a reaction to Thursday’s double suicide bombing by ISIS in Baghdad, Righteous Promise Brigades said in its statement. It alleged that Riyadh is engaged in supporting ISIS and “takfiri groups” to launch attacks and kill innocent people in the region. 

The statement also hinted at more possible strikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The next attack will be carried out in Dubai if Bin Salman and Bin Zayed didn’t stop their crimes, the statement read. 

The assertion reverberated a similar statement by Hezbollah, which held “Wahabi-ISIS” nexus responsible for the suicide bombings in the Baghdad market. There is no evidence of any Wahhabi-ISIS linkage and the Baghdad suicide attacks. 

Likely Link to Iran-Supported Violent Groups

The emergence of the new militant group takes a route close to Iraq-based groups founded by existing militant organizations to attack the US-led coalition in Iraq. A possibility of the linkage between the existing militant organizations and the newly established group further solidified when Abu Ali al-Askari, a powerful leader of the Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah Brigades, celebrated the drone attack and asked the “mujahideen” in Iraq for more attacks against Riyadh.

It seems as if the Iran-backed militant groups that have been engaged in fighting ISIS in Iraq since the second quarter of 2020 are trying to stave off their inability to halt the bombings by nurturing a conspiracy about a nexus between Isreal, Saudi Arabia, and the US. This was clearly visible in their statements. 

Except for the allegations, there isn’t any irrefutable proof that Righteous Promise Brigades is based in Iraq. Even so, if ISIS manages to further destabilize Iraq by launching more attacks like the recent suicide explosions, the militant groups are likely to launch more attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

Condemnations of the Attacks

Meanwhile, the US, France, UK, and Germany have condemned the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia. 

The US State Department said that while it is collecting more information on the incident, it seems as if the militants attempted to target the civilian population. Such strikes go against international law and sabotage the work done to bring peace and stability to the region, it added. 

The US government also vowed to use diplomacy to reduce tension in the region and stop the Yemen war. 

The UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia was extremely worrisome. He condemned the attacks and announced support for Riyadh. 

The Houthi Group Linkage

Many security analysts are holding the Houthi movement responsible for the Riyadh drone attack. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Houthi group that frequently launches missiles and drone strikes inside Saudi Arabia rejected that it was behind the attacks. The group issued a statement, saying it had not undertaken any strikes against the coalition countries in the last 24 hours. 

The Ryadh-led coalition countries have been engaged in fights against the Iran-backed Houthi group since 2015. The hostile group has already attacked Saudi Arabian cities with missiles and drones. 

Saudi Arabia even alleged that it thwarted two drone strikes launched by the Houthi group toward Saudi Arabian cities. The Houthis have targeted Saudi oil fields, airports, and civilians in the past.

Details about Righteous Promise Brigades, the newly formed militant group that claimed responsibility for Saturday’s drone strike, is yet to be revealed.