Recent Drone Attacks on Saudi Capital Were Launched From Iraq

Militia leader takes credit again for drone attacks

Multiple attempted drone attacks against Saudi Arabia’s capital, making runs at the royal palace, were indeed launched from Iraq, US officials say. This finally confirms previous claims of credit from an Iraqi militia.

The militia, the Awilya Wa’ad al-Haq, took credit at the time, but the group’s relatively low profile led to a lot of skepticism, with attacks in Saudi Arabia tending to get blamed on Yemen’s Houthis, even though in this case they came from the opposite direction.

The militia’s leader said the attacks were retaliation for recent ISIS attacks in Baghdad, noting covert Saudi support for the Islamist group. Reports are that the drones were launched from the Iraq-Saudi border.

Broadly these Shi’ite militias are part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which is a government-run umbrella. It isn’t clear if Awiya Wa’ad al-Haq is also part of the PMF, though it is likely, as little was known about the group beyond social media posts and recent claims of drone attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.