This attack is likely intended to disrupt both diplomatic and economic ties between Bahrain and Israel.

Previously we detailed the ongoing Saudi crackdown on the potential for an ‘Islamist uprising’ in response to Arab Gulf countries normalizing relations with Israel. So far, the UAE has normalized, and Bahrain too, and now Saudi Arabia is said to be on the cusp.

On Thursday there emerged reports of an unprecedented first: a group by the name of the “Islamic Resistance in Bahrain” has claimed its first ever attack on Israel in retaliation for Israeli military operations in Gaza.

⚡️ The Islamic Resistance in “Bahrain ?!!” “Saraya Al-Ashtar,” has released footage of a drone attack on the headquarters of the Trucknet transport company in Umm al-Rashrash (Eilat), pic.twitter.com/cJynT6Da9K

— Warfare Analysis (@warfareanalysis) May 2, 2024

The group identifying itself in Arabic as Saraya al-Ashtar or al-Ashtar Brigades launched drones against the southern Israeli port city of Eilat. It reportedly happened on Saturday, but has only late this week been announced by the relatively unknown group.

The group announced that it “targeted the headquarters of the company responsible for land transportation in the Zionist entity [Trucknet] in the city of Umm al-Rashrash [Eilat] in occupied Palestine” – as cited in Al Jazeera. Eilat has been a frequent target of Yemen’s Houthis amid the ongoing Red Sea crisis.

The Israeli land transport company ‘Trucknet” is very active in Arab Gulf countries and is seen as a vital element in restoring Israel-Gulf ties. It is as yet unclear from where the Bahraini group launched the attack. There’s a likelihood it was operating from Yemeni territory.

This attack is likely intended to disrupt both diplomatic and economic ties between Bahrain and Israel:

Trucknet, which is an Israeli transport company, signed an agreement in March to transfer oil between Israel and Arab countries. Saraya al-Ashtar is designated as a “terrorist” organisation by the US, which says it has ties with Iran.

In September Israel took the unprecedented step of opening an embassy in Bahrain based on Abraham Accords talks. However the Gaza war in the wake of Oct.7 disrupted things, and Bahrain recalled its ambassador from Israel. Yet later, by December, Bahrain signaled that it remains committed to normalized ties with Israel. 

The wealthy island-nation which sits just off the Saudi coast plays host to the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), as well as the US 5th Fleet and others.

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Bahrain’s Shia population and activist groups during the period of the so-called Arab Spring sought to lead large demonstrations toward toppling the Sunni monarchy, however, the Saudis sent tanks across the lengthy causeway to help quell the uprising

Bahrain was largely left out of Washington’s ‘freedom rhetoric’ during the Arab Spring while the media spotlight was focused on places like Egypt, Libya and Syria. This is because the US needs strong Sunni Gulf rulers willing to host the Pentagon and keep the oil and gas contracts, and to clamp down on the restive Shia population in the region.

Also on Thursday there have been reports that Iran-linked groups in Iraq launched fresh cruise missile attacks on Israel, but there’s been no confirmation that projectiles made it to Israeli airspace.

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