The open source community has had a chance to look at the imagery and there area few interesting points:
- The drones are a design that the Houthis have never used before, suggesting it was manufactured in Iran.
- The sound signature picked up in the Kuwaiti video suggests jet propelled engines on the drones.
- The cruise missiles recovered were Quds-1. We have never seen Quds systems in Iran before.
- However, the flight trajectory and other imagery suggests it was launched somewhere near the border of Iran and Iraq.
Given all the above, it's almost certainly Iran and/or a proxy who initiated the attack. The most interesting part is that Iran used the Quds system suggesting they are developing alternative missile systems for their proxies and not displaying them to maintain deniability. The deniability part is important for both parties because it gives the US and the Saudis an out where they do not have to escalate the situation. Sentiment for the Saudis is at an all time low since 9/11 and without US support, they would get crushed in a conventional war with Iran.
I hate to admit it, but Iran has played their hand extremely well. They've signaled to the world they can hold its energy supplies at risk, undermining one of the US' major foreign policy positions. They've also shown that they can continue to pound the Saudis from the north and south without any consequences. As vwguru has pointed out, Iran is going to be in a much stronger position to negotiate their next nuclear deal.
This is from WP 2009 May. When you are getting a ton of incoming on a regular basis, you are going to strike back. (aside from the stated purpose of your enemy to ensure you don't exist anymore)
Ganor said the Gaza factions could possess 15,000 to 20,000 rockets. Herzog, by contrast, said Hamas and Islamic Jihad each have about 6,000 rockets.
Last edited by kowabonga; 09-20-2019 at 08:36 AM.
Originally Posted by cartalk
In the grand scheme of things, this is a bigger nothingburger than originally speculated. It only shows how desperate and crumbling the regime is due to the imposed sections. They will just continue to piss everyone off. The Iran deal was terrible at best. It only delayed what the current regime is after. No reason to give them time and money to obtain their goals, likely with a lot more capable technology. US is not going to get involved, we are going to continue to sell billions of dollars worth of military equipment to the Saudis and have them handle it.
As for the Saudis, I'm sorry, but I need a few minutes to recover from laughing my ass off. The Saudis have 127,000 active personnel with 100,000 in reserves, haven't engaged in a serious military conflict in 50+ years and lost every sortie of consequence with the Houthis. Iran has:
-523,000 active duty
-1.4 million in reserve
-125,000 in the Revolutionary Guard Corps with another 390,000 in reserve
-Solid fuel missiles that can hit just about anywhere in Saudi Arabia
-An estimated 50,000 - 60,000 in Hezbollah and the Shi'a militias
-100,000 Yemeni Houthis
-Been in active armed conflict as of, what, last week?
Then there's the topographical differences. A war of aggression for the Saudis would be a logistical nightmare as the Iranian navy is massively larger, making assault from the Persian Gulf or Gulf of Oman a no-go. They would have to move through Iraq into Iran, which becomes mountainous and dense with forests the closer you get to Tehran. All the while, they would be exposed to the Houthis in the south and Hezbollah to the north and north-west. I don't care how good Patriot is, you still need to make strategic decisions on where to deploy your radar and the Saudis do not have enough systems to defend Riyadh, their military bases and their oil fields from every direction.
Oh, there's also the fact that Iran has demonstrated in Iran-Iraq that they are capable of mobilizing the entire nation, including children, when faced with armed conflict with Arabs. It would not even be close if the Saudis had to fight the Iranians without US troops.
Last edited by unhappymeal; 09-20-2019 at 10:29 AM.
Last edited by tbvvw; 09-20-2019 at 11:03 AM.
Hence why I return to my point, which is widely shared by foreign policy community, that it's better to co-opt Iran than try to coerce them.
Last edited by unhappymeal; 09-20-2019 at 11:34 AM.
No pilot needs to risk their life
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/op...ocket-science/Drones, cruise missiles: not exactly rocket science
So all this defense technology US is selling to Saudis, has not been able to stop drones / missiles from flying in...yeah right. The whole fu*king thing seems orchestrated...
Somewhere, John Bolton and the likes are salivating...
we are going to occupy Iran? Why? They wanna lob missiles... we'll lob some missiles.
Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.
As far as energy prices go. I agree this single attack is a nothing burger. It's the threat of ongoing strikes that will cause prices to rise.
This single strike could be the Iranians showing the world their capabilities, it could also be a test of the world's reaction or a test of their ability to strike vs. SA ability to defend its oil infrastructure. The ball is clearly in Iran's court as far as the next move and we are powerless to do anything short of all out war which we all agree is highly unlikely.
Iran needs the nuclear deal as much or more than the rest of the world. They know they wont get a deal with the current administration, they are playing the long game. This has got to be part of the plan to get the parties back to the table with Iran having positioned itself with much more leverage. Any potential rise in energy prices is icing on the cake as it has a high probability of hurting Trump's reelection bid.
Like it or not this was the perfect plan for Iran. Very low risk as far as significant retaliation and better than average upside for getting relief from American led sanctions.
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SA is the biggest exporter of........ extremism in the world. The extreme interpretation of Islam used by Al Qaeda and ISIS came from them. They still practice it in their country. They aren't the good guys or victims in all this.
Why is everyone so upset that Iran supplied the rebels weapons? We provide SA the weapons they drop on Yemen daily for the last few years. Did no one think they'd fight back? It's a war. So we're concerned that terrorists bombed the country of other terrorists, and then got bombed back? GTFO.
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Edit: It might sound like I am being too hard on the Saudis, but I am not. I am being realistic. The Kingdom has interfered with Iran's allies and meddled in Iran's foreign affairs. Iran is making its displeasure with the Kingdom known and demonstrating that the Crown Prince is not in as strong a position as he thought he was.
Last edited by unhappymeal; 09-20-2019 at 02:28 PM.
Iran is like bats in your attic, setting the attic on fire (full out war) will sure get rid of the bats!
. WSJ todayYemeni Rebels Warn Iran Plans Another Strike Soon
Houthi militants in Yemen have warned foreign diplomats that Iran is preparing a follow-up strike to the missile and drone attack that crippled Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.