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The New Arab Staff

Iraq militia claims attack on Riyadh thwarted by Saudi-led coalition

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis have distanced themselves from the attack [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 January, 2021

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Alwiya Alwaad Alhaq said it had targeted Saudi Arabia to 'avenge' a recent IS bombing in central Baghdad that killed 32 people.

An Iraqi militia group has claimed responsibility for an early Sunday attack on the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh which was thwarted by the Saudi-led coalition.

Alwiya Alwaad Alhaq, a largely unknown group whose name roughly translates "The True Promise Brigades", posted a long message on their Telegram account, Iran’s state media report.

"Following the insistence of the Persian Gulf Arabs on the crimes against the nations of the region…we, the children of the Arabian Peninsula, have fulfilled our promise and sent drones of terror to the kingdom of Al-Saud and targeted their forts in Al Yamamah Palace and other targets in Riyadh," the statement reads.

The group claimed their attack on Saudi Arabia was for the latter's "support" for "the criminal gangs of ISIL and takfiri groups", stressing that it was an act of revenge for a deadly bombing in central Baghdad claimed by IS, which killed 32 people and wounded 110 others.

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis, who have carried out cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities, immediately distanced themselves from the attack on Riyadh.

The Saudi-led coalition said it intercepted and destroyed an "enemy air target", Saudi's state-run Al Ekhbariyah and Al-Hadath said on their twitter accounts.

On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition said it had foiled two Houthi attacks using an armed drone launched towards Saudi Arabia and a boat rigged with bombs in the southern Red Sea.

Yemen's war was sparked when the US-backed alliance intervened after the Houthis deposed the internationally-recognised government from power.

The Iran-backed group was designated this month by the administration of former US President Donald Trump as a terrorist organisation.

The new administration under President Joe Biden has begun a review of that tag, which the UN and aid groups could push Yemen into a large-scale famine and hamper efforts to end the war.

Read also:  Why the US terrorist designation of Yemen's Houthis is a mistake

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