Who attacked the Aramco oil facility in Saudi Arabia?
2019 has seen a string of attacks that have been blamed on Iran, who continue to deny involvement and have often claimed that the attacks are covert “false flag” operations to generate a pretext for the international community to engage in war with Iran. The latest attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, Saudi Arabia, were one such example, where Yemeni Houthi Rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks but Iran received the blame. However, following the attack many commentators online and in the media are beginning to question the narrative and ask who really did launch this attack? Could this be a false flag pretext for war with Iran? Or is Iran simply trying to cover up their involvement in the incident?
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The attacks on the Aramco’s Abdaiq oil processing plant and the Khurais Oil Field were carried out through drones from Yemen and were claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebel forces. The Houthis staged this attack, and similar drone attacks in recent months in response to Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the War in Yemen since 2015. The Houthis have threatened to widen the scale of such attacks in the future in retaliation for Saudi-led air strikes that have targeted Yemeni civilians.
Despite the accusations being thrown around by various governments the evidence that has been released seems inconclusive so far, with the attack and weapons arguably being too sophisticated be Yemeni and being launch from the wrong direction to be directly coming from either Iran or Iraq. For this reason Iran and several media sources have indicated this may be some sort of false flag operation, however this remains more of a conspiracy theory than an evidence based assumption at this time. Regardless, the scale and precision of such a drone swarm attack, one which was able to overcome the advanced American defence systems used at the Aramco site, may represent the beginning of a new era in low cost weapons systems that could potentially overwhelm highly defended targets, leaving water supplies, and oil pipelines looking increasingly vulnerable in the future.