Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Who really bombed the refineries?

The largest oil refinery in the world, in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, is reportedly devastated by fire, and its output capacity reduced by half.

Saudi Arabia is supposed to be protected by the world's 3rd largest military in terms of budget, just behind USA and China. This is by far the highest military spending in the world, both per GDP and per capita. All of its military equipment is US-made, including 
5 BOEING AWACS (Airborne early Warning and Control) and 6 battalions of PATRIOT air defense systems, all (AWACS and PATRIOT) manned by US officers.



Yemen has claimed responsibility for the fire, saying it successfully flew a swarm of armed drones 1,000 km into Saudi territory, as retaliation for the 
Saudi-led bombing campaign it is suffering since 2015.

Yemen, one of the poorest nations in the world, has lost 80,000 of its citizen and most of its infrastructure, is experiencing a humanitarian disaster and a famine, due to the bombing and blockade by Saudi Arabia, the US, UK and UAE, but also from France, Israel and a few other NATO-affiliated countries, started in March 2015 and continuing to this day.

However, from the recent news we gather that drones are not the most difficult targets to bring down. Iran brought down several high-altitude US drones, one of them intact, and the Russians have 
defeated at least a dozen armed drone attacks against their airbase in Khmeimim in Syria, including a sophisticated one involving Awacs. Syria and Lebanon brought down many armed Israeli drones recently, and Israel also seems reasonably happy with the performance of its own PATRIOT air defense systems, the same that Saudi Arabia has, which it says 
successfully brings down almost all missiles, planes and drones that have targeted its territory.

So, was Yemen incredibly lucky to drive a dozen drones 1,000 km undetected through Saudi Arabia and devastate its largest refinery?

But there are other ways to reach there. In the Middle East, US-made stealth airplanes like the F-22 operated by the US and the F-35 operated by Israel, have been designed to evade air defenses.

In fact, it is not entirely clear what the PATRIOT, a US-made air defense system operated by US officers would actually do, when detecting a US-made bomber operated by the US or by a US ally like Israel. These systems are "friends" probably on several layers of software.

This was the main argument advanced by the US for cancelling the sale of F-35 to Turkey after they purchased the Russian S-400, and, one would guess, probably the very reason Turkey purchased the S-400 in the first place, after the failed coup in 2016.

Saudi Arabia was also in talks with Russia to purchase the S-400, even before the attack on their refinery.

In a paradoxal way, the US is now defending the notion, via their mainstream media, that their PATRIOT system has LIMITED CAPABILITIES, and is even INFERIOR to the Russian S-400! When did a country claim that the weapons they are trying to hard-sell (just last month, to Turkey and India) are INFERIOR to those of their stated enemy???



So, who really bombed the refineries?


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