The elephant in the room concerning the strike on the Saudi Arabian oil installation is Saudi Arabia’s air defenses. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.com:
he Washington Post notices Russia’s offer to sell its air defense systems to Saudi Arabia. It does not like that:
The attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend were a disaster for both Riyadh and Washington, with weapons allegedly made in Iran circumventing expensive U.S. missile defense systems.But in Moscow, news of the attack was greeted as yet another chance to mock the United States and its allies — all while extolling the virtues of Russia’s own missile defense technology.
“We still remember the fantastic U.S. missiles that failed to hit a target more than a year ago, while now the brilliant U.S. air defense systems could not repel an attack,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Friday. “These are all links in a chain.”
The Yemeni attack on Saudi oil installations caused serious damage (more photos). In Abqaiq at least five of nine stabilization columns were destroyed. These are needed to make crude oil transportable. The three phase separators that separate the fluids into gas, oil and water were likewise eliminated. Most of the gas storage tanks at Abqaiq were penetrated.
biggerSome 5,000 additional workers are now racing to repair the damage. It will still take weeks if not months to get everything up and running again.
The Deep State continues to try to preclude every option but war with Iran for Trump. From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:
Should we chalk it up to coincidence theory that just days after Trump gives John Bolton the boot as his National Security Adviser, Iran is blamed for an attack on a Saudi oil facility, forcing Washington to forego any hope of peace with Tehran?
One day before Bolton’s abrupt departure from the White House, Trump had reportedly discussed with his security advisers the possibility of easing sanctions on Tehran in an effort to create the “right conditions” for a possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations later this month.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters last week. “I do believe they’d like to make a deal.”
Now we may never know how things may have turned out because one week later that comment looks like a page torn from ancient history.
On Saturday, Yemen Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for sophisticated drone attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil factory, which is situated deep inside the country, more than 1,000 kilometers away from the Yemen border. If the claims are true, it would mark a serious turning point in the four-year military ‘intervention’, which has seen US- and British-backed Saudi forces take a heavy-handed approach to extricating the rebels from the capital, Sanaa.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Intelligence, Military, War
Tagged Iran, Neoconservatives, Oil installation, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
These cat-and-mouse, did-they-or-didn’t-they games with Iran can go on for a long time. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
The crisis about the Yemeni drone and cruise missile attack on two Saudi oil installations is for now over.
The Saudis and the U.S. accuse Iran of being behind the “act of war” as Secretary of State Pompeo called it. The Saudis have bombed Yemen with U.S. made bombs since 2015. One wonders how Pompeo is calling that.
The Yemeni forces aligned with the Houthi Ansarallah do not deny that their drones and cruise missiles are copies of Iranian designs. But they insist that they are built in Yemen and fired from there.
President Trump will not launch a military attack against Iran. Neither will the Saudis or anyone else. Iran has deterred them by explaining that any attack on Iran will be responded to by waging all out war against the U.S. and its ‘allies’ around the Persian Gulf.
Trump sent Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to hold hands with the Saudi gangster family who call themselves royals. Pompeo of course tried to sell them more weapons. On his flight back he had an uncharacteristically dovish Q & A with reporters. Pompeo said:
I was here in an act of diplomacy. While the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American, we’re here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this. That’s my mission set, what President Trump certainly wants me to work to achieve, and I hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it the same way. There’s no evidence of that from his statement, but I hope that that’s the case.
The crisis is over and we are back to waiting for the next round. A few days or weeks from now we will see another round of attacks on oil assets on the western side of the Persian Gulf. Iran, with the help of its friends, can play this game again and again and it will do so until the U.S. gives up and lifts the sanctions against that country.
The Houthi will continue to attack the Saudis until they end their war on Yemen and pay reparations.