The United States designated an Iran-sponsored militant group in Bahrain a terrorist organization Tuesday in an effort to stop the Islamic Republic from extending its grip in the Middle East.
Al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB) was established in 2013 with the primary objective of toppling the government of Bahrain. The terrorist group has received weapons and explosives from Iran in its efforts to desolate the Bahraini regime. AAB also adopted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in January 2018 to mimic the Islamic Republic’s military strategy and further demonstrate Iran’s influence on militant groups operating within Arab states in the Persian Gulf.
“Al-Ashtar is yet another in a long line of Iranian sponsored terrorists who kill on behalf of a corrupt regime,” coordinator for counterterrorism Nathan A. Sales said in a statement. “Today’s designation serves notice that the United States sees plainly what Iran is trying to do to Bahrain through its proxy, the terrorist group Al-Ashtar.”