ABOVE: Location of Houthi strikes on Saudi oil facilities. With their new missiles, practically the whole region is now within their range.
The Saudis have been pushing Trump to attack Iran, but the US is in no position to defeat Iran in open battle. Even airstrikes could have severe consequences for the US. As an Iranian commander reminded US officials yesterday, all US military bases within 2,000 miles of Iran would be within striking range of Iranian missiles. . .Following countless provocations, sanctions and attacks on Iranian-supported groups in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, Iran is drawing a line in the sand and showing the US and its allies what is at stake. Through a surgical strike, it has shown how easy it is – through its vast network of groups – to hit key facets of infrastructure, which are supposed to be highly secured by US-supplied missile defence systems.
A series of attacks on Saudi oil installations have set sparks flying once again in the Middle East. Only months after a last-minute cancellation of a US strike on Iran – and weeks after reaching out for talks without any preconditions – US President Donald Trump is yet again filling the twittersphere with threats and intimidation. Meanwhile, oil prices shot up by 20 percent and the ripple effects are already working their way through the sensitive oil and currency markets.
The attacks hit the world’s largest oil processing plant in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia – responsible for processing 70 percent of Saudi oil – as well as the Khurais oil field. The attack has left Saudi Arabia 5.7m barrels per day short of its previous daily oil output, which translates to 5 percent of overall global crude production.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Yemeni Houthi movement, which has been locked in a bitter, four-and-a-half-year war with Saudi Arabia. In the past six months, the Houthis have increased their abilities to strike targets inside Saudi Arabia, hitting airports, oil pipelines and even reaching Riyadh with ballistic missiles. Nevertheless, the present attack is by far the most serious, striking the heart of Saudi Oil production.
Yesterday however, the Qatari-linked website, Middle East Eye, reported from an anonymous Iraqi intelligence source claiming that the attack was carried out by an Iranian-supported Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces – PMF) base in Southern Iraq. This follows a series of attacks on key PMF bases, convoys and weapons depots throughout Iraq. While these attacks were most probably carried out by Israel, they saw the collaboration of the US, as well as Saudi Arabia.
As the Iraqi intelligence source told Middle East Eye, this weekend’s attack was a response to the attacks on PMF positions in August:
“The latest attack comes for two reasons: another message from Iran to the USA and its allies that, as long as their siege of Iran continues, no one will have stability in the region. However, the second, more direct reason is Iranian revenge for the recent Israeli attacks by drones launched from SDF-controlled areas in Syria against pro-Iranian Hashd bases.”
Whether it was Iraqi Shia or Yemeni forces who carried out the attacks; and even if Iran facilitated them, the US-backed Saudis have been the main aggressors in the region in the last period / Image: Fahd SadiUS and Saudi officials, have pointed the finger at Iran. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo tweeted that there was no evidence the weapons were launched in Yemen and accused Iran of “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” Gulf princelings and official lapdogs have been howling all weekend about Iran’s supposed “bullying” in the region, saying they are ready to take any measures necessary.
But wait a minute, you may ask yourself, is it really Iran who are the main bullies in the Middle East? In the recent period alone, the Saudi regime has been stoking sectarianism throughout the whole region. It has also funded a barbaric sectarian war in Syria, which has so far destroyed the country as well as neighbouring Iraq. In Yemen, the Saudis have launched a one-sided war of slaughter, killing tens of thousands of people and keeping millions at the edge of starvation […]
Source: Attacks on Saudi oil facility and the changing landscape of the Middle East