Saudi Arabia has designated Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a terrorist organization for the first time, the kingdom’s top Islamic affairs official said in a statement.
The move came after a year of escalating violence in Saudi Arabia, which has been fighting a series of attacks by the Islamic State.
The statement from Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Thani, a close adviser to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said Saudi Arabia will continue to fight the militant group “as long as necessary.”
The statement was issued after Saudi Arabia launched an aerial campaign against the extremist group last month in response to a series a suicide attacks on the capital.
The kingdom is also engaged in an ambitious military campaign in Yemen, where it has launched airstrikes and a ground offensive against Shiite rebels.
The government of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been battling the group for control of swathes of territory across the region.
The two countries have also been fighting an array of other extremist groups.