Posted by DrJohn on 16 September, 2019 at 10:17 am. 72 comments already!



Recently, Saudi oilfields were struck by drones and set ablaze. The disruption of the oil supply is set to have an economic impact:

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The oil market will rally by $5-10 per barrel when it opens on Monday and may spike to as high as $100 per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, traders and analysts said.

Attacks on two plants at the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry on Saturday knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or 5% of global supply.

Industry sources have said it may take weeks to bring production fully online.

Below are quotes from market participants, traders and analysts.

Although Iran accused the Yamani Hoiulthi rebels, all signs point to Iran as the perpetrator

First, the technical skill required to accurately hit these targets is significantly beyond the proven capability of the Houthis. And the Saudis — with advanced U.S. support — have a large number of advanced radar and ballistic missile tracking capabilities focused on missiles launched from Yemen. They would have detected at least some of these weapons in flight. But as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted on Sunday, there is “no evidence” of a Yemeni launch.

Second, the U.S. and Saudi governments both confidently assess Iranian involvement. A top Saudi official on Monday noted that “all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran.” He added that the Saudis were now investigating “from where they were fired.” The United States has also released satellite photos of the damage. Even though the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s corollary analytical assessment hasn’t been released, the satellite photos are clearly compelling. One image from the Abqaiq facility, for example, shows impact strikes at the same specific point on four different silos. That exceptional precision indicates either a ground attack at the site, laser-guided strikes, or the use of drones. The two first options appear to have been ruled out and the Houthis do not have this advanced drone capability. Iran, however, does.

How did Iran get this technology?

From Barack Obama, who donated the technology and then financed the reproduction.

Back in 2011, Iran captured a US RQ 170 drone.

Iran is pushing the propaganda advantage after showing it captured an intact US stealth drone on a spying mission 140 miles inside Iran.

Hours after Iran state TV displayed the cream-colored American bat-wing RQ-170 “Sentinel” drone – its undercarriage hidden by banners of a US flag, with stars replaced by skulls and marked with anti-US slogans – Iranian officials said the spy craft was proof of enduring US hostility toward Iran.

“Iran will target all US military bases around the world,” in case of further violations, warned conservative lawmaker Mohammad Kossari today. Iran’s response would be “terrifying.”

US officials confirmed with “high confidence” that the drone displayed by Iran is almost certainly the one reported lost last by US forces in Afghanistan last week. It was on an intelligence mission to hunt evidence in Iran of nuclear weapons work.

For some reason Obama never chose not to destroy the drone:

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Obama’s decisions on the drone, saying that, after the aircraft went down, the president should have ordered an air strike within Iran: “The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it. You can do that from the air … and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone.” Instead, “he asked nicely for them to return it, and they aren’t going to”.[30]

He “politely” asked for it back, and Iran laughed at him. Now they had the technology in hand thanks to Obama.

They reverse engineered the drone, smuggling drone part into Iran:

For years, Iran has been successful in smuggling drone parts in spite of international sanctions, and now its smuggling efforts have moved into counter-drone markets. These markets, inclusive of North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific and Latin America, are expected to reach a value of USD 2.93 billion by 2025. Iran’s neighboring states are also looking to acquire counter-drone capabilities. Turkey has at least three known products on the market, and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are looking to step in. Due to their geographical proximity to Iran, these countries unwantedly risk operating as transhipment hubs and staging grounds for Iranian front companies and smuggling networks seeking to get their hands-on Western counter-drone technology.

This takes real money. Where would Iran get this kind of money?

From Barack Obama.

In early 2016 Obama sent $1.7 billion in cash to Iran and in between at least $29 billion and perhaps up to over $100 billion were freed up.  Some of it has been traced directly to funding terrorism.

In 2018, Israel captured one of the drones and declared it a copy of the RQ 170:

TEL AVIV, Israel — A senior Israeli Air Force officer told reporters Monday that the Iranian drone it intercepted over the weekend was a “copy” of a stealthy U.S.-built RQ-170 Sentinel downed by Iranian forces over Iranian territory in 2011.

“It’s a copy of a similar system that fell in Iran,” Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, chief of staff of the Israeli Air Force, said of the drone in Israel’s possession, which he identified as Shahed 171.

“They more or less duplicated it … but I won’t grade them,” said Bar, referring to Iran’s reverse engineering capabilities.

Iran released a video of the Shahed 171 in flight back in 2014. Two years later, Iran showed another knockoff based on the Lockheed Martin Sentinel, an armed version known as the Saeqeh, according to Tal Inbar, director of the UAV and space program at Israel’s Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies.

And it was revealed that one variant was armed:

“There are two copies that Iran made out of the RQ-170. One is Shahed 171, and this is supposed to be jet powered and for reconnaissance missions. Then there is the other variant of this vehicle — similar in design to RQ-170, with a piston engine and a propeller — named Saeqeh. This variant was shown in 2016 armed with four laser-guided munitions,” Inbar told Defense News.

Iran now has armed drone capabilities and money to spare thanks to Barack Obama. Obama’s galactic blunder puts US forces and Israel under even greater jeopardy in the Middle East.

And Iran has just seized another tanker.



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