The bombardment of Saudi Aramco oil facilities (Abqaiq and Khurais Labs) on Sunday, 15 September 2019 has led to reduce the Saudi oil production to five million barrels of oil per day, which is about 50% of the current production of the Kingdom, and experts are currently studying the possibility of attackers use cruise missiles fired from Iraq or Iran, without excluding the hypothesis of drones.

Although the Houthis embraced the operation as the largest in the depth of Saudi Arabia, which they considered “the second balance of terror,” but finger pointing to a greater force, whether Iran or another country in its interest to provoke the war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Hence, bombing the oil facilities very accurately from a long distance using huge explosives may lead us to two possibilities:

  • First, third party is the responsible of the bombing attacks (Israel / US).
  • Second, Iran is the responsible of the bombing attacks.

In both cases the Saudi defenses, built with US weapons, failed to detect and shoot down Iranian drones/missiles of large amount and size.

Obviously the first possibility seems not logic because of the next:

  • Obviously, it’s not logic that the US has conspired with Israel on itself showing the US defenses useless.
  • Netanyahu does not intend to embarrass his close friend Trump, by revealing the deficit of the US and the Patriot batteries.
  • The US failure of defending the Saudi may lead it to go for the Chinese, Russian and other countries’ weapons.

The question now is, why is Iran doing this? The answer from my point of view is as follows:

  • Iran’s insistence on being in action and seize the advantage of the initiative from the hands of its opponents. This brings them the means to impose their will and the ability to dictate decisions.
  • Iran’s insistence to prove to the world that the US pressure and sanctions against are futile, which may prompt the US administration to find alternative solutions to the sanctions, including equal negotiation and return before all US decisions undermining Iran.
  • Persuade the Gulf states that their country’s capabilities are within Iran’s reach, and force them to retreat from military hostility and build opportunities to negotiate with them.

MG (Ret). Sayed Ghoneim
Fellow, Nasser Higher Military Academy
Chairman, Institute For Global Security & Defense Affairs (IGSDA)