Tag Archives: Drones

Saudi oil refinery drone hit

Yemen, Saudi Arabia & War

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.)

Drone attacks on Saudi Pipeline

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

Saudi oil refinery drone hit
Note the precision of the holes in the distillery tanks from the South -West (not from from Iran in the East)

 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.

 

Houthi drone
Houthi drone

 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


Links

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201909201076843665-saudi-coalition-initiates-operations-yemen/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/19/us-dials-back-iran-rhetoric-and-seeks-peaceful-resolution-over-saudi-attack

Why Evidence of Iran’s Role in Attack Doesn’t Matter

 

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/the-saudi-arabia-drone-attacks-have-changed-global-warfare/

Who Really Benefits From ‘Iranian Attack’ On Saudi Arabia?

 


New Antarctica  Relevant Links

America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars

The Saudi created hell in Yemen

Obama and the Baseball Cards

Obama’s legacy; and  this may  well be his prime legacy- and  one he may  remember in his  older years as he stands before the International War Crimes Tribunal, (once its decisions are no  longer controlled by  the U.S.  State Department), was his omnipotent capacity to  decide who shall  live and who  shall   die by  drone anywhere in  the world,  based on  limited pieces of information  provided on baseball  cards. (a kind of  Roman Emperor  type role: – thumbs- up  or down at  the Coliseum)

Baseball Card Kill List DEPICTION
Lawfareblog.com notes ‘This is a mock-up/depiction of what an actual kill-list baseball card looks like. It is not a real baseball card and is not based on any classified information.’

 

Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over-reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront. The Intercept 

One might almost be forgiven therefore  for coming to  the conclusion that  the intent of the U.S. targeted killing process is  not to  eliminate the sources of terror, but to  exacerbate them.

drone operator
Drone operator cabin- Daily Mail Australia

As we have seen in many a colonial  war, those who  ‘hand in’ terrorists to  the colonial  power inevitably have their own  agendas;  feuding families and clans, or perhaps financial   or property interests, but rarely because they  are in  fact  ‘terrorists”.  In addition we  can be certain  that  US military  and State Dept claims of minimal   ‘collateral  damage’ (accidental  killing of civilians who  get in the way  of a  drone  missile’s large detonation area)  are complete fabrications. And we can be certain too  that drone operators have less than minimal  knowledge of foreign cultural  issues- e.g. the difference between a  wedding party celebrating by firing automatic weapons into  the air and a  terrorist  group in weapons training , let alone  their drone “eyes” having sufficient  definition to  pick  up  who  is who  on the ground.

So,  when  dear President Obama  gives the thumbs down  on that particular baseball  card, he really has no  idea what  he is agreeing  to; other than that  his decision will  kill  someone or more likely , quite a few  people, out there . But of course, if  that Hellfire  missile with  its 9kg warhead  just  happens to  kill a few other  ‘military-age males’  in the vicinity of the explosion,  all  to the good.  By  using  remote killing mechanisms  the US president can appear to  take a Herod-like hands-off approach  to  the art of murder, with  the added benefit of limited  capacity of verifying what  carnage has  actually occurred on the ground.

In addition the United States’  penchant for targeting  supposed ‘leaders’ of terrorist  groups, rather than  their supply lines, infrastructure or financial  backers, means that  drones can be used over and over to  kill  the next leader who  takes the deceased’s  place in  the leadership line; or as in  many cases , the United States simply ‘kills’ the same person  over and over again; such  is the usefulness of remote unverified killing.

United States government lawyers have in  the past contorted themselves in  all  sorts of unusual  positions to justify  remote murder by  executive order,  much as their  contracted psychiatrists  managed to  create a lofty argument that  putting  prisoners through  ‘stress positions’  was not in  fact  totally illegal,  inhumane  torture and contravened  international  human  rights on  a grand scale.

President Obama has even been known  to joke publicly about his life and death  decision-making powers, not too  dissimilar from his psychopathic Secretary  of State ,  Hilary Clinton.

I hope I will  be around to  see  them  stand before the International  tribunal.


Links

https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/the-assassination-complex/

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-presidents-kill-list

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/2013.05.23_fact_sheet_on_ppg.pdf

https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-comment-presidents-national-security-speech

https://www.aclu.org/issues/national-security/targeted-killing

https://www.aclu.org/foia-collection/targeted-killing-foia-database

https://www.aclu.org/foia-document/joint-targeting-cycle-and-collateral-damage-estimation-methodology

https://theintercept.com/document/2015/10/14/geolocation-watchlist/

https://www.lawfareblog.com/kill-list-baseball-cards-and-targeting-paper-trail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249252/Brandon-Bryant-Drone-operator-followed-orders-shoot-child–decided-quit.html