The media has received some audio files from its sources which indicate the Saudi intelligence agency has been trying to recruit people in Basra to use them for special missions.
The audio files which contained information, collected from Basra, were reportedly given to an officer named Abu Khalid al-Sa'udi, to whom the mission of creating unrest in Basra was assigned.
The disclosed audio files also showed the Saudis gave money and gifts to those who provide them with information from inside Iraq.
In one of the audio files, the Saudi officer asks the Iraqi spy to determine the kind of al-Hashd al-Shaabi centers and to inform him whether they are training centers or not, and whether the headquarters are primary or secondary.
Based on the audio files, the Saudi intelligence service has an extensive network of spies not only in southern Iraq but also in the west, center and north of the country.
Protesters in the southern city of Basra are rioting over poor public services, especially the lack of drinking water. In recent days, unrest has intensified, and at least 11 people have been killed in the clashes and more than 100 others, including a number of security forces, have been injured.
On Thursday evening Sep 8, a number of protesters attacked and torched Iraqi political party offices and headquarters, including Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Basra is an important hub for oil exports, which account for over 95 percent of Iraq’s government revenues. Long neglected, the city is one of the few cities in the Middle East without an effective water treatment system. State officials blame a public funding crisis caused by years of low oil prices.
Violent protests in Basra erupted earlier this week and have since resulted in the deaths of 11 people, killed in clashes with local security forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, has ordered an inquiry into the violence, while the parliament announced it will hold an emergency session on Saturday.
Meanwhile in Baghdad, three mortar shells landed inside the capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone just after midnight on Friday, the Iraqi military said.
The projectiles hit an “abandoned lot,” resulting in “no casualties or physical damage,” it added.
A security source inside the Green Zone told Reuters the shells landed near the Egyptian embassy. Iraqi security forces launched a search operation to try to determine the spot from which the mortars were fired.
The city has been hit by protests against lack of basic amenities and poor public services since early July.