The September 19th precision attacks on the oil processing facility at Abqaiq in Eastern Saudi Arabia have raised many questions for the Saudis and their allies in UAE, the United States and Israel. How did the attackers ( whether they be Houthi, Iranian or Saudi dissidents or a combination of any of those),manage to breach what should have a very well protected site from air borne attack.
The attacks should not have come as a surprise however. The Houthi “rebels’ in Yemen (against which the Saudis and their British, U.S. , Al Qaeda and UAE allies have been conducting a barbaric war of attrition for the past 4 years ) have both threatened and carried out increasingly ambitious attacks on Saudi infrastructure in the past year with drones and missiles to varying effect. (note the map below showing earlier Houthi drone attacks on the oil pipeline leading to Abqaiq.)
Recent news releases from the Houthi indicate major military successes against the Saudi mercenaries on the front line.; and the latest report of 500 Saudi mercenaries killed and 2000 captured in ongoing Houthi/Yemen Army raids into Saudi territory is outlined here.
The U.K., France and Germany have all joined the chorus of condemnation of Iran from the Saudis and United States for the Abqaiq attacks, despite any evidence. As noted in previous blogs here , the ability of the Iranians to ship quantities of large missiles and drone components to Yemen through a very tight naval blockade of its ports and coastline is problematic to say the least. That blockade is part of the deliberate humanitarian disaster that the Saudis and their allies have inflicted for 4 years against the population of Yemen. That genocide is compounded by the deliberate bombing of civilian infrastructure with active military support and coordination by the British and the Americans. Those actions are war crimes on a massive scale.
Going back to how the Abqaiq could have possibly happened; given the massive investment the Saudi clan have put into war machinery from the U.S. and U.K. , Craig Murray notes: Saudi Arabia’s entire weapons capacity is massively focused on Iran, as are the manifold detection devices of the numerous US bases. Besides modern air defence systems are omnidirectional
The Patriot missile defence system is not the best in the world, though it is the most expensive; however you cannot just creep up behind it and shout “boo!” Not even the Saudis would pay billions of dollars for that.
So if by some absurd chance , what Western governments are saying is true; how did the Iranians fly drones and missiles at Abqaq from across the Persian Gulf directly in the face of large batteries of Saudi and American air defenses? The analysis by “Juliet Guy Oscar” clearly shows that Houthi manufactured Quds1 cruise missiles have both the capacity and range to have attacked Abqaiq and beyond.
The Americans, using brutal sanctions, theft of Iranian assets and threats, want to bludgeon Iran into both pulling back on its extensive and very effective missile programme, and its support for its local allies in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestine above all. As E.J. Magnier notes- pulling back on either of those two programmes is simply not an option for the Iranians.
For U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo to state that “the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American,(and) we’re here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this,” is of course pure nonsense and lies. America wants to make Iran once again a client state like the Saudis , Egypt or Jordan, which can bend to the expansionist whims of the Israelis.
While its very likely that the Houthis have been using and adapting Iranian missile and drone technology, the evidence suggests that the Yemen military, supported by the Houthis, have also been making their own or adapting military equipment salvaged from the Saudi/UAE conflict – with perhaps technological advice from Iran.
The Saudis, amusingly enough, cannot believe that Houthi “savages” could develop and deliver such weapons. ( the same kind of sad racist mistake that the Americans have continuously made against the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans and many other nations. (“If they have such weapons then they must have stolen the technology from us”.)
The Yemen ‘rebel’ commentary on the attacks is however interesting, noting that “various kinds of combat drones were used in the Second Deterrent Balance Operation, noting that they were launched from three different locations according to their flight endurance and designated targets. He underlined that the third generation of domestically-designed and -manufactured Qasef (Striker) combat drones, long-endurance Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) drones – which have an operational range of 1,500 kilometers to 1,700 kilometers and newly-developed drones equipped with jet engines.
Each of the new drones can carry four precision-guided bombs with fissionable heads every time, and can monitor and hit their targets from several angles.“Other aircraft were also used so the main combat drones could hide in their shadow without being detected, and signal jamming devices effectively disabled the enemy’s air missile defense systems.”
Like the Iranians, the Houthi and the Yemen military are fighting for their survival against much better equipped and financed opponents. Opponents whose ruthlessness and commitment to war crimes on a grand scale is known to all.
This will not end well for all sides…but the writing is on th wall for the Saudi clan if Pepe Escobar’s analysis is anything to go by
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