Bahraini militia celebrates Hamas-led invasion of Israel, calls for mobilization against Israelis

Statement from Saraya Wa’ad Allah

Saraya Wa’ad Allah, an Iranian-backed militia in the island Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced its support for Hamas’ slaughter of Israelis and called for similar mobilization inside Bahrain. Despite the threat of violence, however, similar calls to action by the militia, or other Iranian-backed groups on the island over the last few years, have failed to materialize. 

According to Saraya Wa’ad Allah, the Hamas-led assault on Israel “revealed the internal defeat of the house of spiders, as God has fulfilled his promise.” Moreover, the militia states that “what the Israeli occupation is experiencing is the inevitable divine promise that this great act of resistance will overshadow this bastard entity and God will decree their evacuation sooner than later.” 

The militia goes on to congratulate Hamas and other groups within the so-called “Islamic Resistance,” or other militant groups within Iran’s orbit, and calls on them to continue until the “adhan [call to prayer] and calls of takbeer” can be heard from within. 

Turning more locally, Saraya Wa’ad Allah also states that this is evidence that the current ruling Al-Khalifa family of Bahrain should turn against Israel and not pursue normalization. Calls against normalization with Israel have been a common refrain for Bahraini militias for several years. 

The Shia militant group then states that the Hamas-led assault should be the call for Bahrain’s own mobilization against “Zionists” on the island and calls for a popular resistance uprising against the Bahraini state and Israelis. 

Despite the fresh threat, this is not the first time Saraya Wa’ad Allah has issued such a communique against Israel. For instance, in 2020 it stated it created a dedicated sub-unit to target Israeli interests in Bahrain. It also took credit for threats against an Israeli delegation meeting with Bahraini officials in 2019. 

Other Iranian-backed Bahraini militias, such as Saraya al-Ashtar and Saraya al-Mokhtar, have also threatened Israeli’s on the island. 

And despite this call for renewed violence in Bahrain, similar calls from other groups since 2019 have fallen on deaf ears, with little to no violence being reported on the island from such militias since the same year. Bahraini security has effectively rendered these Iranian-backed groups largely dormant, though many maintain activity online where they release coordinated messages with other “Islamic Resistance” groups in Bahrain and around the wider-Middle East. 

Saraya Wa’ad Allah’s statement thus acts more within the realms of Iran’s larger propaganda game against Israel, whereby it seeks to present the image of a wide, united multi-front threat against the Jewish state. While some threats around the Middle East may be more real, threats from Bahrain are typically more bark than bite.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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