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  • Saudi gets SLAPPED !

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...efineries.html

    Holy Sh1t !

    Last edited by Mega; 09-14-19, 12:08 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

    3 years ago, I was teaching a course working on defence problems at an unclassified level. One of those problems was counter-drone. During the course, and the first time in open source, an adversary drone killed 2 Peshmerga Kurds and injured 2 French soldiers.

    2 years ago, a single adversary network managed to put 70 drones in the air within 24 hours, including 12 concurrent commercial off the shelf weaponised drones. Disrupting allied Iraqi operations despite the allied coalition having complete conventional air superiority.

    1 day ago, approx 10 weaponised drones temporarily disrupted 5% of global petroleum production in a coordinated series of attacks.

    The Houthi rebels are actually pretty damn good at running complex rocket/missile systems and McGyvering together field expedient improvements such as range extenders.

    The Houthi have managed to snipe approx 450 high value GCC coalition headquarters personnel within Yemen using rockets/missiles, as well as killing a few using weaponised drones within Yemen and now punching into Saudi proper.

    Houthi long range missile attacks have been creeping towards Jeddah, Taif, and Riyadh, but large missile bodies are very limited.

    Long range weaponised drones are a very cheap and relatively easy to manufacture poor man’s precision cruise missile system.

    As stated, the Houthi are pretty solid at asymmetric rocket/missile employment, but those are nearly all expended.

    Long range large form factor drones can be manufactured easily enough from COTS designs/components but much has been done to mitigate them from being used in specific conflict zones.

    But a state sponsor such as Iran could provide clandestine and less attributable critical components and intelligence to give the Saudis a very big headache at a very low cost.

    Taking Bolton and his uberhawk ilk our of the equation, this likely has indirect Iranian fingerprints on it.

    But what will the response look like?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

      Interesting
      I assume they us GPS to guide them?............so why would Jamming not be effective?
      A local radar set to point a high power microwave beam that would "fry" the chips?

      With all their wealth they could not defend agasint this?
      Mike

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

        I know that it is now know that Israel used a "swarm" of drones to over run a SAM site, hence sudden interest in high power LAZER tec........

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

          Originally posted by Mega View Post
          Interesting
          I assume they us GPS to guide them?............so why would Jamming not be effective?
          A local radar set to point a high power microwave beam that would "fry" the chips?

          With all their wealth they could not defend agasint this?
          Mike
          There are both multiple methods for guidance of drones(GPS, terrain comparison, optical , other) as well as defeat of drones(GPS jamming/spoofing, RF spectrum jamming/spoofing, kinetic options.

          The last 3 years has seen a wide range of counter-drone solutions developed. Some are absolute rubbish, others are quite solid.

          For exceptionally high value targets a layered defence would be a recommended and likely option.

          18 months ago Syrian rebels attacked a Russian base with a drone swarm with mixed results.

          This seems more like a drone version of Mumbai 2008, exhibiting early signs of professional planning, command, control, and execution.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

            Originally posted by Mega View Post
            Holy Sh1t !
            Saudi Arabia finally lost its war on Yemen. It has no defenses against these weapons and it's undeniable that they threaten the Saudis' economic lifelines. This was the decisive attack.

            The target's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthisí drones and it puts other Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant, and even Dubaiís international airport within range. These Houthi drones have proved difficult to track and even harder to shoot down. And not only are the Saudi's PAC 3 Patriot batteries useless against them, they're actually under threat themselves.

            The Houthi have clown prince MBS by the balls and can squeeze any time it suits them. The economic threat of Houthi drone attacks comes on top of an IMF predicted 7% budget deficit, meaning further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state, not to mention the royal neckline. They also show that the Houthi are no longer an unrecognized, isolated movement and this is punctuated by a recent meeting at the Iranian Foreign Ministry where delegates from Iran, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as Yemenís Houthi Ansarullah movement, exchanged views about a political resolution of the war.

            The war on Yemen the Saudis started in March 2015 was unwinnable then and now is definitely lost. Neither the U.S. nor the Europeans will come to the Saudis help, despite Pompeo and Trump's recent bluster and the "let's you and them fight" efforts by the Saudis (and Israelis) to have us make war against Iran on their behalf. Trump knows the ice beneath him is thinning and his firing of Bolton proves he has no intent of giving up a second term for the neocons and their Israeli/Saudi paymasters. Considering there are no technological means to protect against more such attacks, it's clear that poor Yemen defeated rich Saudi Arabia.

            MbS will have to agree to peace negotiations and the Yemeni demand for reparations will be massive. But what alternatives will the Saudis have but to cough up whatever the Houthi demand? As for the bigger picture, it is undeniable that all the neocon wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East - Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015) - were unmitigated disasters, costing us upwards of $3 trillion dollars, turning our republic into a de-facto police state, and making Iran and its allies stronger. Their incompetence is criminal.

            If ka-POOM ever realizes and the US at last gives up its exorbitant privilege, my greatest hope is that we'll see the entire neocon cabal breaking rocks at Leavenworth.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

              Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
              Saudi Arabia finally lost its war on Yemen. It has no defenses against these weapons and it's undeniable that they threaten the Saudis' economic lifelines. This was the decisive attack.

              The target's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthisí drones and it puts other Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant, and even Dubaiís international airport within range. These Houthi drones have proved difficult to track and even harder to shoot down. And not only are the Saudi's PAC 3 Patriot batteries useless against them, they're actually under threat themselves.

              The Houthi have clown prince MBS by the balls and can squeeze any time it suits them. The economic threat of Houthi drone attacks comes on top of an IMF predicted 7% budget deficit, meaning further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state, not to mention the royal neckline. They also show that the Houthi are no longer an unrecognized, isolated movement and this is punctuated by a recent meeting at the Iranian Foreign Ministry where delegates from Iran, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as Yemenís Houthi Ansarullah movement, exchanged views about a political resolution of the war.

              The war on Yemen the Saudis started in March 2015 was unwinnable then and now is definitely lost. Neither the U.S. nor the Europeans will come to the Saudis help, despite Pompeo and Trump's recent bluster and the "let's you and them fight" efforts by the Saudis (and Israelis) to have us make war against Iran on their behalf. Trump knows the ice beneath him is thinning and his firing of Bolton proves he has no intent of giving up a second term for the neocons and their Israeli/Saudi paymasters. Considering there are no technological means to protect against more such attacks, it's clear that poor Yemen defeated rich Saudi Arabia.

              MbS will have to agree to peace negotiations and the Yemeni demand for reparations will be massive. But what alternatives will the Saudis have but to cough up whatever the Houthi demand? As for the bigger picture, it is undeniable that all the neocon wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East - Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015) - were unmitigated disasters, costing us upwards of $3 trillion dollars, turning our republic into a de-facto police state, and making Iran and its allies stronger. Their incompetence is criminal.

              If ka-POOM ever realizes and the US at last gives up its exorbitant privilege, my greatest hope is that we'll see the entire neocon cabal breaking rocks at Leavenworth.
              not necessarily disagreeing with what you said, but maybe we can also see these attacks as a way of Iran saying "don't even try to attack us, we can cause so much asymmetric damage that it's not worth the cost", in light of the tension around US' de facto termination of the JCPA.
              engineer with little (or even no) economic insight

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                WOW Woodsman !

                In the meantime China shows her colours
                https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitic...-aramco-attack
                BACK OFF IRAN!

                Pultin must be pissing himself at everyone
                Last edited by Mega; 09-16-19, 03:30 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                  Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
                  Saudi Arabia finally lost its war on Yemen. It has no defenses against these weapons and it's undeniable that they threaten the Saudis' economic lifelines. This was the decisive attack.

                  The target's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis’ drones and it puts other Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant, and even Dubai’s international airport within range. These Houthi drones have proved difficult to track and even harder to shoot down. And not only are the Saudi's PAC 3 Patriot batteries useless against them, they're actually under threat themselves.

                  The Houthi have clown prince MBS by the balls and can squeeze any time it suits them. The economic threat of Houthi drone attacks comes on top of an IMF predicted 7% budget deficit, meaning further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state, not to mention the royal neckline. They also show that the Houthi are no longer an unrecognized, isolated movement and this is punctuated by a recent meeting at the Iranian Foreign Ministry where delegates from Iran, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, exchanged views about a political resolution of the war.

                  The war on Yemen the Saudis started in March 2015 was unwinnable then and now is definitely lost. Neither the U.S. nor the Europeans will come to the Saudis help, despite Pompeo and Trump's recent bluster and the "let's you and them fight" efforts by the Saudis (and Israelis) to have us make war against Iran on their behalf. Trump knows the ice beneath him is thinning and his firing of Bolton proves he has no intent of giving up a second term for the neocons and their Israeli/Saudi paymasters. Considering there are no technological means to protect against more such attacks, it's clear that poor Yemen defeated rich Saudi Arabia.

                  MbS will have to agree to peace negotiations and the Yemeni demand for reparations will be massive. But what alternatives will the Saudis have but to cough up whatever the Houthi demand? As for the bigger picture, it is undeniable that all the neocon wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East - Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015) - were unmitigated disasters, costing us upwards of $3 trillion dollars, turning our republic into a de-facto police state, and making Iran and its allies stronger. Their incompetence is criminal.

                  If ka-POOM ever realizes and the US at last gives up its exorbitant privilege, my greatest hope is that we'll see the entire neocon cabal breaking rocks at Leavenworth.
                  The thing I wonder about related to this attack is the original oil for dollar deal the United States made with SA after the United States left the gold standard. Wasn't the Kissinger arrangement that SA sells its oil in dollars and, in return, the United States provides SA with weapons and military protection? Does this attack mean that the United States failed in its attempt to protect SA, or, alternatively, does this mean that the United States has already walked away from being SA's protector? In either case, doesn't that mean the de-facto end of the petro-dollar era?

                  Put more simply, after this attack, what reason does SA have to continue selling its oil in dollars? Relatedly, how soon will China become its new protector?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                    Originally posted by kbird View Post
                    The thing I wonder about related to this attack is the original oil for dollar deal the United States made with SA after the United States left the gold standard. Wasn't the Kissinger arrangement that SA sells its oil in dollars and, in return, the United States provides SA with weapons and military protection? Does this attack mean that the United States failed in its attempt to protect SA, or, alternatively, does this mean that the United States has already walked away from being SA's protector? In either case, doesn't that mean the de-facto end of the petro-dollar era?

                    Put more simply, after this attack, what reason does SA have to continue selling its oil in dollars? Relatedly, how soon will China become its new protector?
                    The US military presence in Saudi Arabia has been extremely limited since the 1996 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia.

                    Since that time, most US military personnel in the region have been operational deployed or based(permanently or repeatedly/temporarily) on the periphery of Saudi Arabia in places like Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Djibouti, and Yemen.

                    It has only been in recent months that US military personnel have returned to Saudi Arabia, limited to just 1 or more remote air bases and consisting of combat aircraft squadrons, air defence units, and their direct support. Numbers are approx 500.

                    However, there are very large numbers of ex-military personnel who live in Saudi expat compounds responsible for managing the many insanely overpriced contracts between US defence contractors and Saudi royal family.

                    The Royal family get their 20% cut and the US gets tens of thousands of very well paying manufacturing jobs in the US and service/support jobs in Saudi.

                    Petro dollar recycling via overpriced defence contracts has been going at full throttle since the late 70’s early 80’s.

                    The UK plays 2nd fiddle to the US in this, but it’s still quite substantial, so much so that an official investigation into corruption around the multi-decade 40+ billion pound Al-Yamamah UK/Saudi Weapons deal was discontinued out of public interest in 2006.

                    Too many petro-recycling jobs at risk...so it got spiked to protect not just them, but especially everyone else feeding at, or benefitting from, the money trough.

                    ——-

                    But the idea that the Houthi did this unilaterally without external state support(Iran) is absolutely and completely laughable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                      Originally posted by lakedaemonian View Post
                      ...But the idea that the Houthi did this unilaterally without external state support(Iran) is absolutely and completely laughable.
                      Agreed and no one here suggested that the Houthi did. And equally as risible is the notion that attack came from "Iranian soil."

                      Anyone who believes that would do well to review the facts of the Tonkin Gulf Incident.


                      "There was nothing."

                      Or, the trustworthiness of those persons and organizations peddling the Saddam's weapons of mass destruction canard.


                      "None of it was true."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                        Originally posted by kbird View Post
                        The thing I wonder about related to this attack is the original oil for dollar deal the United States made with SA after the United States left the gold standard. Wasn't the Kissinger arrangement that SA sells its oil in dollars and, in return, the United States provides SA with weapons and military protection? Does this attack mean that the United States failed in its attempt to protect SA, or, alternatively, does this mean that the United States has already walked away from being SA's protector? In either case, doesn't that mean the de-facto end of the petro-dollar era?

                        Put more simply, after this attack, what reason does SA have to continue selling its oil in dollars? Relatedly, how soon will China become its new protector?
                        recently the ksa and china signed an agreement which was to have made ksa china's largest oil supplier once again. got to wonder whether payment was to be in usd. [i doubt it]

                        otoh, china just signed an agreement with iran for up to $400b value in which they could buy iranian oil at a significant discount to market price, and payable in local currencies including rmb. [the chinese are really benefitting from the sanctions the us is imposing on iran] seems to me that iranian contract just got a lot more important. also, prior to ksa resuming its role as biggest supplier, the biggest supplier lately has been russia. and russian-chinese commerce is payable in rub or rmb, not usd. i think iran and russia just locked in their biggest customer, at least for a while.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                          Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
                          Agreed and no one here suggested that the Houthi did. And equally as risible is the notion that attack came from "Iranian soil."

                          Anyone who believes that would do well to review the facts of the Tonkin Gulf Incident.


                          "There was nothing."

                          Or, the trustworthiness of those persons and organizations peddling the Saddam's weapons of mass destruction canard.


                          "None of it was true."
                          Credibility from telling the “truth” is so hard to build and far easier to lose.

                          While some are claiming the attack originated from Iran or Iranian controlled Iraq, I’d prefer to discuss the particular challenges of a Yemeni Houthi based drone attack narrative:

                          Disrupting Saudi oil production from over 1000km away represents a number of quite considerable challenges:

                          1)There are no COTS drones available to Yemen with the range/payload to achieve the outcome seen
                          2)There are no COTS terminal guidance systems available to Yemen to achieve precision seen in post attack assessment
                          3)Indigenous Houthi R&D for Yemen point of origin attack would require several levels magnitude > sophistication over previously seen. Not iterative & incremental improvement, but revolutionary
                          4)Indigenous Houthi R&D would require considerable safe space for design, fabrication, testing, integration, & validation of revolutionary capability improvement while under constant Saudi coalition air attack
                          5)A Yemen point of origin for the attack would have the drones travelling across mostly flat/open terrain and easy to discover via Saudi E3 AWACS(based directly between Yemen and attack site) and surveillance aerostats.
                          6)Target intelligence, mission planning & especially mission rehearsal would require specific training, experience, and appropriate terrain that is not available in Houthi controlled portions of Yemen.

                          It simply doesn’t pass the sniff test from any direction.

                          Could this attack have originated from Houthi controlled Yemen?

                          Absolutely.

                          But not without very considerable(up thru and including turnkey systems) external state support(Iran).

                          If I was planning this to launch from Yemen, I would:

                          Discretely move a small number of well vetted Houthi personnel to Iran for training as this is well beyond organic Houthi capability.

                          Test/rehearse mission using off the shelf non-attributable(ish) Iranian drones in Iranian great salt desert as this is well beyond the organic Houthi capability.

                          Unconventional logistics to return Houthi, drones components, support equipment back to Houthi controlled territory.

                          ”Tab A into slot B” drone assembly to call them “Houthi made”

                          Utilise full suite of Iranian SIGINT, MASINT, HUMINT resources for mission planning to mitigate for Saudi AWACS and surveillance aerostats, comprehensive air defence systems, and maximise disruption to critical components as this is well beyond the organic capability of the Houthi.

                          I am most decidedly NOT for an open conventional war with Iran, but:

                          1)there are Iranian fingerprints all over this
                          2)this is yet another, but escalated, chapter in the now 40 year long unending unconventional war with Iran.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                            Originally posted by lakedaemonian View Post
                            Credibility from telling the ďtruthĒ is so hard to build and far easier to lose.
                            .
                            .
                            .

                            I am most decidedly NOT for an open conventional war with Iran, but:

                            1)there are Iranian fingerprints all over this
                            2)this is yet another, but escalated, chapter in the now 40 year long unending unconventional war with Iran.
                            Indeed, although I'd push that timeline back another 20 years or so, recalling the truth of who fired the first shot in that unconventional war. Specifically, Operation Ajax and our overthrow of Time Magazine's Man of the Year Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. And while that bought us a sort of peace for a time, during the interregnum of the Shah's dictatorship, we continued making war on the Iranian people with our financial and technical support of his brutal regime. Suffice to say, our difficulties with Iran did not begin with the seizure of the US embassy and its staff and those actions did occur within a historical and political context that does not exactly leave us bathed in righteousness and glory.

                            But back to the Houthi strike. I don't discount your back of the napkin analysis. But rather than speculate, informed as your speculation is, let's do our best to stick to the evidence that we have available, namely the satellite pictures.

                            The U.S. government published two detailed pictures of the attack's result.


                            The pictures show some 17 points of impact. There are cars visible in the more detailed picture that demonstrate the gigantic size of the place.


                            Clearly, the targets were carefully selected. At least 11 of those were egg shaped tanks with a diameter of some 30 meters (100 feet). These are likely tanks for pressurized (liquidized) gas that receive the condensate vapor from the stabilization process. They all have neat holes in their upper shells.

                            The piping to and from the egg shaped tanks shows that these were configured in groups with double redundancy. Two tanks beside each other share one piping system. Two of such twin tanks are next to each other with lines to their processing train. There are a total of three such groups. That means that damage to any one tank or group would not stop the production process, as the products would be routed to another similar tank or group. But with all tanks of this one special type taken out, the production chain is interrupted. Two processing areas were hit and show fire damage and the control equipment of both appear to have been completely destroyed. What that all means is that the targeting for this attack was done with very detailed knowledge of the process and its dependencies.

                            Look at the north arrow in the upper right corner of second picture. It points to the left and the visible shadows confirm the direction. The holes in the tanks are on the western side. So that means they were attacked from the west.

                            Look at the extreme precision of the hits. The Yemeni armed forces claimed it attacked the facility with 10 drones (really, cruise missiles). But the hits on these targets look like neither. A total of 17 hits with such precise targeting would lead us to conclude that these were some kind of drones or missiles with man-in-the-loop control. And as you say, they may have been launched from within Saudi Arabia. The Houthi have taken credit, but I agree with you that Yemen is unlikely to have this capability without drawing on extensive support from elsewhere. Then again, the U.S. and Israel are able to commit such attacks. And Iran, too. And whoever is the prime actor, it's clear that the planing for this operation must have taken months.

                            As a soldier and planner, it does not surprise me at all to learn you are not in favor of open war against Iran. It would be a shit storm in the short run and a long term geopolitical disaster orders of magnitude beyond the Iraq debacle. The immediate impact of any direct attack on Iran would be swarms of missiles hitting U.S. military installations in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Saudi water desalination plants, refineries and ports, indeed nearly all Saudi installations of any significance would also be targeted. And Saudi Arabia has no defenses against these kind of attacks. The U.S. has no system that could be used for that purpose and what systems we have in place are better targets than counters. Russia is the only country that can provide the necessary equipment. But even if the Saudi's chose to incur the wrath of their American clients and buy Russian, it would take some time to field, be extremely costly, and still be insufficient to protect all of the Saudi's vital facilities from similar attacks.

                            Despite the bluster, I doubt that Trump or the Saudis are ready to risk such a response. Although Bibi might find it a welcome distraction from his electoral and legal difficulties.

                            The bottom line is that attacks of this kind will only end when Saudi Arabia admits the reality of their situation and makes peace with Yemen. And part of that peace will require the U.S. to end its sanctions of oil exports from Iran. As Iran's President Rouhani said, if the Americans, Saudis or Israelis prevent the export of Iranís oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf. It is high time for the neocon hawks and their Saudi/Israeli paymasters to recognize that Iran means what it says. And they have the tools and wherewithal to fulfill that promise.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Saudi gets SLAPPED ! (Oil going to $100?)

                              Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
                              Indeed, although I'd push that timeline back another 20 years or so, recalling the truth of who fired the first shot in that unconventional war. Specifically, Operation Ajax and our overthrow of Time Magazine's Man of the Year Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. And while that bought us a sort of peace for a time, during the interregnum of the Shah's dictatorship, we continued making war on the Iranian people with our financial and technical support of his brutal regime. Suffice to say, our difficulties with Iran did not begin with the seizure of the US embassy and its staff and those actions did occur within a historical and political context that does not exactly leave us bathed in righteousness and glory.

                              You could go further into contextual rabbit holes with US Marine barracks in Lebanon conducted by Iranian proxies; EFPs in Iraq by Iranian proxies; Karbala kidnapping/executions by Iranian proxies; US ignoring WMDs used by Iraq against Iran; Iran Air 655 shot down by USS Vincennes, the skipper gets a medal and his wife's car explodes; Iranian nuclear scientists unable to get life insurance.....the list is endless.

                              As is the unconventional war that has been, is, and will continue to be fought.

                              But back to the Houthi strike. I don't discount your back of the napkin analysis. But rather than speculate, informed as your speculation is, let's do our best to stick to the evidence that we have available, namely the satellite pictures.

                              The U.S. government published two detailed pictures of the attack's result.


                              The pictures show some 17 points of impact. There are cars visible in the more detailed picture that demonstrate the gigantic size of the place.


                              Clearly, the targets were carefully selected. At least 11 of those were egg shaped tanks with a diameter of some 30 meters (100 feet). These are likely tanks for pressurized (liquidized) gas that receive the condensate vapor from the stabilization process. They all have neat holes in their upper shells.

                              The piping to and from the egg shaped tanks shows that these were configured in groups with double redundancy. Two tanks beside each other share one piping system. Two of such twin tanks are next to each other with lines to their processing train. There are a total of three such groups. That means that damage to any one tank or group would not stop the production process, as the products would be routed to another similar tank or group. But with all tanks of this one special type taken out, the production chain is interrupted. Two processing areas were hit and show fire damage and the control equipment of both appear to have been completely destroyed. What that all means is that the targeting for this attack was done with very detailed knowledge of the process and its dependencies.

                              CARVER matrix.

                              While there are many insurgent/rebel groups capable of detailed and innovative planning, the engineering expertise required to achieve the maximum impact with minimum effort on this particular target set would be quite high, which drastically narrows the list of those capable of pulling off just the detailed planning required, let alone technical execution of it.

                              Look at the north arrow in the upper right corner of second picture. It points to the left and the visible shadows confirm the direction. The holes in the tanks are on the western side. So that means they were attacked from the west.

                              Be careful with assuming that the attack originated from the west. Back bearing is meaningless with guided missiles & drones

                              Terminal guidance appears to be from the west, but in all modern missile systems(and easy to code for weaponised COTS) attack routes are programmable.

                              IE: antiship missile doesn't have to go directly west to east. It can be programmed to go north, east, south, west and terminal attack from the opposite direction, or multiple directions to avoid counter missile fire down the back bearing.

                              There could be technical and tactical reasons behind the direction of terminal guidance.

                              Look at the extreme precision of the hits. The Yemeni armed forces claimed it attacked the facility with 10 drones (really, cruise missiles).

                              Conventional missiles or custom build COTS hybrid drones.

                              But the hits on these targets look like neither. A total of 17 hits with such precise targeting would lead us to conclude that these were some kind of drones or missiles with man-in-the-loop control.

                              There are in-service weapons that have the autonomous computer vision capability to hit with that consistent level of precision, but they are limited to a small number of users.

                              Shorter range man in the loop optically guided systems are much more broadly available.


                              And as you say, they may have been launched from within Saudi Arabia.

                              I don't recall speculating that they may have been launched within Saudi, more a mention of the considerable engineering & tactical challenges of launching from Yemen and crossing vast Saudi open ground within being interrogated/identified/intercepted.

                              The Houthi have taken credit, but I agree with you that Yemen is unlikely to have this capability without drawing on extensive support from elsewhere. Then again, the U.S. and Israel are able to commit such attacks. And Iran, too. And whoever is the prime actor, it's clear that the planing for this operation must have taken months.

                              I think your bias is showing with Israel/US. I think this is highly unlikely as risk/reward is insanely bad. This isn't like Clinton throwing some cruise missiles during the Lewinsky Scandal or having a Kuwaiti kid tell lies to Congress following the Iraqi invasion. This is a few entire levels of magnitude greater.

                              At this stage, recuperability of production is what I'm most interested in.

                              As well as SSE forensics.

                              Effect and Recognisability is very high from a macro perspective.


                              As a soldier and planner, it does not surprise me at all to learn you are not in favor of open war against Iran. It would be a shit storm in the short run and a long term geopolitical disaster orders of magnitude beyond the Iraq debacle. The immediate impact of any direct attack on Iran would be swarms of missiles hitting U.S. military installations in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Saudi water desalination plants, refineries and ports, indeed nearly all Saudi installations of any significance would also be targeted.

                              The Iranians aren't morons, but they have done some very stupid things in the past.

                              Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 was an entirely one sided short/sharp series of military incidents that didn't lead to the apocalypse.

                              The difference today is the US is far better equipped and the Iranians just aren't.


                              And Saudi Arabia has no defenses against these kind of attacks.

                              The Saudis have a fully integrated and overly expensive(kickbacks) AWACS and air defence network that is very capable.

                              But Saudi forces, with very few exceptions, are very poorly regarded. Outsourcing non kinetic services to very well trained western contractors is very common.


                              The U.S. has no system that could be used for that purpose and what systems we have in place are better targets than counters.

                              Unless you've got first hand info, I'd strongly disagree.

                              No systems are perfect, but there's been a lot of investment and innovation in this space in recent years. ;)

                              Counter drone, in particular, is experiencing extremely rapid capability development and deployment.

                              Russia is the only country that can provide the necessary equipment.

                              What is this based on exactly?

                              Russian kit didn't perform as advertised in the one drone swarm they got hit with during their "Syrian Arms Sales Show".

                              S400/500 seem like solid systems, but Russia doesn't exactly have the R&D budget to back up their bluster.

                              But even if the Saudi's chose to incur the wrath of their American clients and buy Russian, it would take some time to field, be extremely costly, and still be insufficient to protect all of the Saudi's vital facilities from similar attacks.

                              I'm sure the Russians will offer as they have tried to crack that nut for decades. But the Saudis buying Russian kit would likely have nothing to do with operational effectiveness and everything to do with a nuclear equipped superpower sponsor swap.

                              Despite the bluster, I doubt that Trump or the Saudis are ready to risk such a response. Although Bibi might find it a welcome distraction from his electoral and legal difficulties.

                              The bottom line is that attacks of this kind will only end when Saudi Arabia admits the reality of their situation and makes peace with Yemen. And part of that peace will require the U.S. to end its sanctions of oil exports from Iran. As Iran's President Rouhani said, if the Americans, Saudis or Israelis prevent the export of Iranís oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf. It is high time for the neocon hawks and their Saudi/Israeli paymasters to recognize that Iran means what it says. And they have the tools and wherewithal to fulfill that promise.
                              I have a different view of Yemen.

                              I've stated here before I believe Yemen is a much slower burning/simmering analog to the Normandy invasion.

                              The Saudis have validated this theory displayed by throwing the kitchen sink at Yemen with indiscriminate brutality, largely from the air in a princely cockpit or by paying for coalition proxies/mercenaries on the ground.

                              Yemen, due to terrain and ethno/demo history is the perfect platform for launching attacks into Saudi proper.

                              And I'm not talking just the few remaining shade tree modified Scuds that have caused considerable concern for the Saudis, we're talking loss of local control and governance if Yemen "infected" Saudi.

                              I just don't see the Saudis publicly humbling themselves.

                              Massively expensive back channel agreements for "peace with honour", definitely.

                              But if not, I see killing fields.

                              What would they do to protect trillions of dollars in wealth? Absolutely anything.

                              And with a disengaging disinterested US, who knows?

                              What hasn't been covered anywhere is whether Saudi faces any internal/factional attack risk?

                              I think it highly unlikely this was the result of Saudi internal/factional strive, especially after MBS squeezed every single major player in Saudi to submit wealth, power, fealty.

                              But surely there was deemed to be enough risk to gently waterboard all the major players recently at the Riyadh Ritz?

                              Houthi backed by Iran, or a rogue princely capo in the Saudi mafioso throwing $25-50 million at this sounds more likely than an Israeli/US false flag.

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