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Its worth noting not only could a guided munition approach from any given direction despite its launch point that the pictures that have been released are naturally not oriented directly north-south. This is the location:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Saudi+Arabia/@25.9285911,49.6810589,1431m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x15e7b33fe7952a41:0x5960504bc21ab69b!8m2!3d23.885942!4d45.079162

 

As you can see, if you spin the map to align with the released photos, the impacts are almost due west, maybe west north west.

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I must claim absolutely no knowledge of how oil is stored or processed other than what google can teach. Also I likewise know extremely little or nothing of Iranian or Houthai UAV capability.

 

IIRC there have been 'foreign' drone activity in various locations in UAE - around airports - I use the term foreign as it was not UAE forces. I think Oman had an incursion by large UAV in the last few days - or maybe that was Kuwait

 

I would never underestimate the capability of 'the sand people' - underestimation of a force only gets one in trouble. Maybe they did not make the intruding weapons but it may simply have been as simple as 'Al Houthi' getting a vehicle from 'Al Tehrani" and being told to park it in a specific location and head home.

 

Now a couple of questions:

from what I have seen on net it looks like 8 storage tank were hit (along with other things) there seems no evidence of fire at the 8 locations so would I be not too far off in thinking a straight forward not explosive kinetic slug could be responsible?

 

Could such be carried by drone...positions.. fired and maybe even more or less self destructing the drone. Iranians have experience with such slugs but land based.

 

Were the projectiles that hit the other locations similar? If now what were they?

 

Any thoughts on ship launch being an option?

 

Way out there - fly in drone with say 20kg attachment - land on storage tank - attach 'limpet' charge using magnet of sticky stuff - either wait around for destruction or just fly away

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Another question is how small would the drones have to be so as to not be detected flying into KSA airspace? Or what flight path could reduce chance of detection? Is there a mountainous valley nearby for hiding low altitude flying?

 

Maybe high altitude drone was detected intruding airspace but since its a drone, no way to warn it away. So just watching it on the radar screen, until and after getting notification that the oil facilities got hit?

Edited by JasonJ
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The claim last night on CNN is that the US has evidence that the weapons were launched from Iran. Which beg's the question,

1 What information do they have that proves this.

2 Why wasnt this information available soon enough to do something to prevent it? Such as launching missiles from any warships in the viscinity, and giving the Saudi's Raid warning.

3 If this is all retroactively available information, why dont they have the means, realtime, to detect it, when the place is crawling with US drones and combat aircraft?

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Well presumably it wouldn't be too hard to follow a radar track back from wherever the attack was to Iranian airspace. Given that the US has previous form in the region, I don't think having an AEGIS cruiser in the Gulf shoot down a random target because it looked a bit dodgy would have been a good idea. It's a bit concerning that the Saudi airforce couldn't get something up in time to have a look though.

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Let the hit happen to prove beyond any doubt of intention?

 

 

On a quick side not, Japan oil reserves can be released.

 

Reserves are said to be over 230 days worth. I assume that's if covering total consumption rate at current levels of consumption.

 

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will consider coordinated release of oil reserves and other measures if needed to ensure sufficient supplies after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, its minister of economy trade and industry, Isshu Sugawara, said on Tuesday.

 

Sugawara has previously said that Japan has oil reserves that are enough to cover more than 230 days of domestic consumption and the ministry will cooperate with the International Energy Agency and other nations and provide the necessary supply of oil, through such means as the coordinated release of its reserves if necessary.

 

Oil prices rose nearly 15% on Monday, with Brent logging its biggest jump in over 30 years amid record trading volumes, after an attack on Saudi Arabian crude facilities cut the kingdom’s production in half.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-aramco-attacks-japan/japan-will-consider-release-of-oil-reserves-if-necessary-industry-minister-idUKKBN1W2062

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Well presumably it wouldn't be too hard to follow a radar track back from wherever the attack was to Iranian airspace. Given that the US has previous form in the region, I don't think having an AEGIS cruiser in the Gulf shoot down a random target because it looked a bit dodgy would have been a good idea. It's a bit concerning that the Saudi airforce couldn't get something up in time to have a look though.

 

Fair one, but its surprising they didnt mention it to the RSAF or the USAF in the region, even if the USN didnt feel like going weapons free.

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Another question is how small would the drones have to be so as to not be detected flying into KSA airspace? Or what flight path could reduce chance of detection? Is there a mountainous valley nearby for hiding low altitude flying?

 

Maybe high altitude drone was detected intruding airspace but since its a drone, no way to warn it away. So just watching it on the radar screen, until and after getting notification that the oil facilities got hit?

 

Putin told the media during a meeting with the Iranians that maybe the Saudis should buy S-400's so that they can protect their infrastructure. Also, that the war in Yemen has to stop. Doesn't sound like there's much sympathy for the Saudis in certain capitals.

 

Another (Small) tanker seized,

 

https://www.france24.com/en/20190916-iran-claims-have-seized-oil-tanker-near-strait-hormuz

Edited by glenn239
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I can hardly wait for the evidence of Iranian involvement to be released to the public, if only to find out how Tehran managed to pull off this well-executed attack.

 

Proportional response in this case would call for equivalent damage to be inflicted on Iranian refinery capability.

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Whom by? Because right there is your problem. From the Yemen war, it doesnt look like the RSAF can hit a barn door at 50 feet.

 

The KSA will of course try to have the US do it. Barring that, they do have plenty of shiny toys and a fairly vast fleet of strike aircraft - they have nearly as many F-15Es as the US does, plus the Tornadoes, Typhoons, etc. Their lack of success in Yemen seems more due to their lack of ISR and generally inability to give good targetting information to first rate aircraft and munitions. I suspect if they wanted to they could quite thoroughly immolate Kharg Island. The distance from Saudi airspace is just over a hundred miles - so aircraft on afterburner would be inside glide bomb range five minutes after their feet were wet. Even the Saudis could probably manage that, and they have more than enough aircraft to do a thorough job and even take heavy casualties doing it. But again, they will press the US to do it, and I'm not convinced Trump will get his hands dirty this close to the election. I honestly don't think anything will come of the attack militarily; the Saudis are inept and scared shitless and the US administration has no interest in starting what would likely be a war across several different countries in the mideast.

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What is the estimated probability of

 

a ) Iranian UAV/stealth technology leap

b ) US false flag

c ) RUS "if you could have bought S-400 now your shiny refinery would be intact" sales incentive

 

?

 

zero, zero, and zero.

a). Iran already possesses long range PGMs with ranges in the thousands of km, so no new tech leap is necessary.

 

B). The current US administration wouldn't shoot itself in the foot a year away from an election by threatening the world oil supply, even assuming the KSA was willing to take the hit or too stupid to know otherwise.

 

c). Russia would never risk its position in Syria being cut off in retaliation, which the US could basically do overnight.

Edited by Josh
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Whom by? Because right there is your problem. From the Yemen war, it doesnt look like the RSAF can hit a barn door at 50 feet.

 

The KSA will of course try to have the US do it. Barring that, they do have plenty of shiny toys and a fairly vast fleet of strike aircraft - they have nearly as many F-15Es as the US does, plus the Tornadoes, Typhoons, etc. Their lack of success in Yemen seems more due to their lack of ISR and generally inability to give good targetting information to first rate aircraft and munitions. I suspect if they wanted to they could quite thoroughly immolate Kharg Island. The distance from Saudi airspace is just over a hundred miles - so aircraft on afterburner would be inside glide bomb range five minutes after their feet were wet. Even the Saudis could probably manage that, and they have more than enough aircraft to do a thorough job and even take heavy casualties doing it. But again, they will press the US to do it, and I'm not convinced Trump will get his hands dirty this close to the election. I honestly don't think anything will come of the attack militarily; the Saudis are inept and scared shitless and the US administration has no interest in starting what would likely be a war across several different countries in the mideast.

 

 

I quite agree Josh.

The US identified the launch location in Iran.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-49733558

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Although the price of oil jumped, its still 66 USD per barrel. From 2005 to 2014, it was above 80 USD per barrel, often above 100 USD.

 

Rather than heavy oil importers, the biggest impact might be just on KSA being unable to sell maximum potential, similar to the impact of sanctions on Iran's oil export level.

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What is the estimated probability of

 

a ) Iranian UAV/stealth technology leap

b ) US false flag

c ) RUS "if you could have bought S-400 now your shiny refinery would be intact" sales incentive

 

?

1)In the past or future? Both seem to be low, although the current tech Iran possesses is quite advanced.

 

2)Zero.

 

3)100% -> https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-16/putin-says-ready-to-help-saudi-arabia-defend-itself-with-s-400

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According to the NYT:

American intelligence analysts and military investigators are examining a missile guidance mechanism recovered in Saudi Arabia that may provide clues as to the missile’s origins and flight path

[...]

Analysts are poring over satellite imagery of the damage sites, and assessing radar tracks of at least some of the low-flying cruise missiles that were used. Communication intercepts from before and after the attacks are being reviewed to see if they implicate Iranian officials.

[...]

The Saudis have recovered pristine circuit boards from one of the cruise missiles that fell short of its target, providing forensics specialists the possibility of tracing the missile’s point of origin, according to a senior American official briefed on the intelligence.

[...]

One theory gaining traction is that the cruise missiles were launched from Iran and programmed to fly around the northern Persian Gulf through Iraqi air space instead of directly across the gulf where the United States has much better surveillance, the senior official said.

Edited by Daan
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Whom by? Because right there is your problem. From the Yemen war, it doesnt look like the RSAF can hit a barn door at 50 feet.

 

The KSA will of course try to have the US do it. Barring that, they do have plenty of shiny toys and a fairly vast fleet of strike aircraft - they have nearly as many F-15Es as the US does, plus the Tornadoes, Typhoons, etc. Their lack of success in Yemen seems more due to their lack of ISR and generally inability to give good targetting information to first rate aircraft and munitions. I suspect if they wanted to they could quite thoroughly immolate Kharg Island. The distance from Saudi airspace is just over a hundred miles - so aircraft on afterburner would be inside glide bomb range five minutes after their feet were wet. Even the Saudis could probably manage that, and they have more than enough aircraft to do a thorough job and even take heavy casualties doing it. But again, they will press the US to do it, and I'm not convinced Trump will get his hands dirty this close to the election. I honestly don't think anything will come of the attack militarily; the Saudis are inept and scared shitless and the US administration has no interest in starting what would likely be a war across several different countries in the mideast.

 

Iranian naval stations would make a smart choice, the US can suppress SAM's while KSA pounds some of the naval bases, which limits the Iranians ability to interfere with shipping.

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Washington's apparent aversion to disproportionate measures against Tehran involving casualties may limit its response options.

 

As far as independent Saudi options go, they certainly would be able to afford mercenary manpower to fight in place of their own.

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Washington's apparent aversion to disproportionate measures against Tehran involving casualties may limit its response options.

 

As far as independent Saudi options go, they certainly would be able to afford mercenary manpower to fight in place of their own.

 

The Pakistanis won't lease brigades to them anymore. And in any case, the conflict would be air and naval, not ground based. The Saudis would have to strike with their airforce and accept consequences, which they won't do. They will either push the US to do it for them or forever keep their peace.

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If they do keep their peace, the protector of the holy cities of Islam will essentially have been made a eunuch by Iran.

 

The Saudi bravery on display in the killing of Khashoggi may not be as evident when confronted by an enemy that can fight back in various ways.

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