WAR Main Persian Gulf Trouble thread

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal is located in the Persian Gulf, a long way from Yemen.

I wonder where the Houthis attack originated from?

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Brace For Oil Surge: Saudi Oil Tank In Ras Tanura Port Hit In Houthi Drone Attack

SUNDAY, MAR 07, 2021 - 16:55

It's not as if oil - the best performing class of 2021 - behind bitcoin of course - needed any more reasons to surge higher (for the latest tally please read "Saudis + Commodity Funds = Energy Stock Explosion"), but it got it moments ago when Saudi Arabia said that it had intercepted missiles and a barrage of drones launched from neighboring Yemen and which targeted Dhahran, where Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, is headquartered, which eyewitnesses said was rocked by an explosion.

According to Bloomberg which quotes witnesses on the ground, the blast shook windows in Dhahran, which hosts a large compound for Aramco employees.

While Bloomberg was cautious with reporting of what had happened, Saudi journalist Ahmed al Omaran who previously worked with the FT, said that "Saudi oil tanks in Ras Tanura Port hit in drone attack and Aramco facilities targeted with ballistic missile" quoting an energy ministry statement"

An official spokesman at the Ministry of Energy said that "one of the petroleum tank farms at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil shipping ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea"

Yemen’s Houthis claimed a series of attacks on Sunday including on a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura in the east of the kingdom. The group launched eight ballistic missiles and 14 bomb-laden drones at Saudi Arabia, a spokesman for the Houthis, Yahya Saree, said in a statement to Houthi-run Al Masirah television.

“There are reports of possible missile attacks and explosions this evening, March 7, in the tri-city area of Dhahran, Dammam, and Khobar in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province,” the U.S. consulate general in Dhahran said in a statement.
According to a statement from a spokesman at the Saudi Energy ministry, "the attacks did not result in any injury or loss of life or property." In his statement, the spokesman stressed that "the Kingdom condemns and criminalizes such repeated acts of sabotage and hostility. The Kingdom calls on nations and organizations of the world to stand together against these attacks, which are aimed at civilian objects and vital installations"

As Bloomberg reports further:
The Houthis have stepped up assaults on Saudi Arabia and last week claimed it hit a Saudi Aramco fuel depot in Jeddah with a cruise missile. It wasn’t clear how much damage had been caused. While such assaults rarely result in extensive damage, their frequency has created unease in the Gulf, a region key to global oil production.
Earlier on Sunday the Saudi-led coalition said the Iran-backed Houthis had fired projectiles at the kingdom and said a U.S. decision to revoke their terrorist designation had fueled rising attacks. It said had carried out retaliatory air strikes on Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, targeting the Houthis it has been battling for six years.

Needless to say, ignore the diplomatic BS, and keep in mind that everything the Houthis do when it comes to "attacks" on Saudi territory and especially Aramco facilities is known well in advance by Riyadh.

And since today's attack will likely send Brent surging once it reopens for trade in a few hours, our only observation on the matter is that shortly after shocking the world by extending production limits in last week's OPEC+ meeting, it now appears that Saudi Arabia is indeed hell bent on getting the black gold to hit triple digits as fast as possible...

... especially since Saudi Arabia knows mothballed US shale production will take months if not longer to get back online and renew downward pressure on oil prices.

Brace For Oil Surge: Saudi Oil Tank In Ras Tanura Port Hit In Houthi Drone Attack | ZeroHedge

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Iran-Backed Houthi Rebels Say They Targeted Saudi Oil Port; Saudi Arabia says there were no casualties and no damage from the Sunday strike
Sunday, March 7, 2021, 5:46 PM ET
Wall Street Journal
By Summer Said and Stephen Kalin

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels said they attacked a major Saudi Arabian oil port on the Persian Gulf with drones and missiles on Sunday. Saudi authorities said the strike caused no casualties or damage.

The Saudi Energy Ministry said an assault "coming from the sea" had targeted petroleum tanks at the Ras Tanura port. It condemned what it called "repeated acts of sabotage and hostility" targeting energy supplies to the world.

"All indications point to Iran," said an adviser to the Saudi royal court who said he was briefed on the matter. He said it wasn't clear whether the origin was Iran or Iraq but that it hadn't come from the direction of Yemen.

Iranian officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. An Iraqi official said he was unaware of any connection between his country and the attack.

In 2019, a drone and missile attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry temporarily shut down half the kingdom's crude production. At the time, the Houthis claimed responsibility, but the U.S. said the attack was launched from Iraq or Iran, which denied the accusations.

Yahya Saree, spokesman for Houthi forces fighting the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, said the group on Sunday used 10 drones and a ballistic missile in an attack on Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, as well as four drones and six missiles aimed at the southern Saudi regions of Asir and Jazan.

The Houthis have stepped up aerial attacks on Saudi Arabia following the inauguration in January of President Biden, who has pledged to end the six-year-old civil war in Yemen and recalibrate Washington's relationship with Riyadh .

The Biden administration has said it wants to re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal and then negotiate a deeper, broader agreement with Tehran that also addresses Iran's military posture and activities in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition that intervened in the conflict in Yemen, which now faces one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. The coalition launched a new round of airstrikes on the capital Sanaa earlier Sunday, warning that targeting civilians in Saudi Arabia was "a red line."

Hussein Nasser, a father of two living in Sanaa, said the coalition bombardment of a nearby military base shattered the windows in dozens of homes in his neighborhood, injuring several people. "Five airstrikes at the same time while people and their kids were having lunch," he said.

Following the incident at Ras Tanura, the port was operating as normal, according to several shipping sources. "Loadings are continuing normally," said a manager at a shipping agency there who declined to be named. He wasn't aware of any distribution center being hit.

Ras Tanura is the site of Saudi Aramco 's oldest and largest oil refinery and the world's biggest offshore oil loading facility. The 550,000 barrel-a-day refinery supplies over a quarter of the kingdom's fuel supply.

Shrapnel from a ballistic missile, which the Houthis said they had fired at military targets in nearby Dammam, fell near Aramco's residential area in neighboring Dhahran, the Saudi statement said.

An Aramco employee living in the area said he saw two projectiles intercepted overhead by Saudi air defenses, which rely heavily on U.S. Patriot antimissile systems. Nearby residents reported the windows of their homes had trembled or even shattered from the blasts.

Images shared on social media showed bright blasts of light in the sky above Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province and later a plume of white smoke.

Benoit Faucon and Saleh al-Batati contributed to this article.

Write to Summer Said at summer.said@wsj.com and Stephen Kalin at stephen.kalin@wsj.com

Iran-Backed Houthi Rebels Say They Targeted Saudi Oil Port - WSJ


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passin' thru



On January 23rd a drone attack was launched on the Saudi capital from Iraq, likely by Kataib Hezbollah. This drone attack which also used a ballistic missile is significant and would confirm reports Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militias have ballistic missile capability
Quote Tweet
#UPDATE: WSJ quotes advisor to the Saudi royal court who said he was briefed on today’s attacks: “All indications point to Iran,” he said. He said it wasn’t clear whether the origin was Iran or Iraq but that it hadn’t come from the direction of Yemen. Iran-Backed Houthi Rebels Say They Targeted Saudi Oil Port
If the attack was launched from Iraq, that is (Iran seems unlikely- a ballistic missile launch would probably have been detected)



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On January 23rd a drone attack was launched on the Saudi capital from Iraq, likely by Kataib Hezbollah. This drone attack which also used a ballistic missile is significant and would confirm reports Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militias have ballistic missile capability
Quote Tweet

If the attack was launched from Iraq, that is (Iran seems unlikely- a ballistic missile launch would probably have been detected)
Considering that such a detection would be considered "classified", it would be suppressed by the current administration since it isn't in "their" interest to make it public at the moment.

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
New Ballistic Missile Launch Targets Saudi Arabia As Part Of Houthi "Sabotage Attacks"

MONDAY, MAR 08, 2021 - 13:40

Following closely on the heels of the Sunday drone and missile attack fired from Yemeni Houthi territory targeting the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, specifically on the Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura, the Saudi-led coalition is reporting Monday a new ballistic missile attack on Saudi soil.

According to a coalition statement, the Saudis "destroyed a ballistic missile heading towards Khamis Mushait and booby-trapped drone heading towards the kingdom's southern region."

The statement further blamed the Shia rebels fighting the Saudi-UAE coalition since 2015, noting the projectiles were "launched by Houthis militia".

Within hours of the reported fresh missile attack, Saudi state media SPA quoted the coalition as condemning the continued "sabotage attacks":

"The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has strongly condemned and denounced sabotage attacks that attempted to target one of the petroleum tank farms at Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region and Saudi Aramco facilities in Dhahra," SPA wrote.
It further condemned what it called the "cowardly attack" that "targets energy supplies and security".
Video footage of yesterday's Houthi's attack:

Meanwhile the White House commented on the spate of latest attacks, with a spokesperson saying the Saudis face "genuine security threats" from Yemen's Houthis.

Concerning the details of Sunday's attack, a new Saudi statement said "Shrapnel from a ballistic missile fell near a residential compound in Dhahran used by state-controlled Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company," according to Reuters.

The attack drove Brent crude above $70/barrel on Monday - which was the highest price seen in over a year, since January 2020.

New Ballistic Missile Launch Targets Saudi Arabia As Part Of Houthi "Sabotage Attacks" | ZeroHedge


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Posted for fair use.....

B-52s again fly over Mideast in US military warning to Iran

Pilots from the 69th Bomb Squadron board a B-52H Stratofortress bomber in preparation for a flight on March 6, 2021, at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.


By JON GAMBRELL | Associated Press | Published: March 7, 2021

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A pair of B-52 bombers flew over the Mideast on Sunday, the latest such mission in the region aimed at warning Iran amid tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The flight by the two heavy bombers came as a pro-Iran satellite channel based in Beirut broadcast Iranian military drone footage of an Israeli ship hit by a mysterious explosion only days earlier in the Mideast. While the channel sought to say Iran wasn't involved, Israel has blamed Tehran for what it described as an attack on the vessel.

The U.S. military's Central Command said the two B-52s flew over the region accompanied by military aircraft from nations including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It marked the fourth-such bomber deployment into the Mideast this year and the second under President Joe Biden.

Flight-tracking data showed the two B-52s flew out of Minot Air Base in North Dakota, something Central Command did not mention in its statement on the flights though authorities later published images of the flight crew preparing its departure there.

The military did not directly mention Iran in its statement, saying the flight was to "deter aggression and reassure partners and allies of the U.S. military's commitment to security in the region."

However, such flights had become common in the last months of former President Donald Trump's administration. Trump's 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers sparked a series of escalating incidents in the region.

Biden has expressed a desire to return to the deal if Iran honors the deal's limits on its nuclear program. However, tensions remain high after militias in Iraq — likely backed by Iran — continue to target American interests.

Biden last month launched an airstrike just over the border into Syria in retaliation, joining every American president from Ronald Reagan onward who has ordered a bombardment of countries in the Middle East.

Meanwhile Sunday, Beirut-based channel Al-Mayadeen aired footage of the Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship hit by the blasts Feb. 26 in the Gulf of Oman.

The grainy footage included areas blurred out on the video, likely coordinates and other information displayed by the Iranian military drone. The footage at one point showed what appeared to be a hole in the side of the vessel.

Al-Mayadeen did not say when the footage was shot, nor explain the circumstance by which the Iranian drone was following the ship. The U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, which patrols the Mideast and often has tense encounters with Iran, declined to comment on the footage.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed Iran for the blasts, something denied by Tehran. However, the Gulf of Oman saw a series of similar attacks in 2019 that the U.S. Navy then blamed on Iran.


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Joanne Serrieh, Al Arabiya English

Published: 09 March ,2021: 08:57 AM GST Updated: 09 March ,2021: 09:07 AM GST

The Arab Coalition intercepted and destroyed an explosive-laden drone launched by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia toward Saudi Arabia's Khamis Mushait, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.
Khamis Mushait is a southwestern city home to the King Khalid Air Base.

Yemen’s Houthi movement regularly launches drones and missiles into Saudi Arabia, many of which Riyadh says it intercepts.
Monday night, the Coalition announced it had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi militia targeting Khamis Mushait. Another explosive drone was also intercepted and destroyed.
The attacks on Monday come one day after the Arab Coalition confirmed that Iran supplied the weapons that were used in the attack on Aramco’s oil port and facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Some attacks have previously hit Abha International Airport which is about 120 kilometer (75 miles) from the border with Yemen.
In February, the Houthis claimed an attack on the Abha airport which caused a civilian plane to catch fire. The militia said the airport was a military target, according to AFP.
With agencies
Read more:
Arab Coalition intercepts, downs 12 Houthi drones in one day
Arab Coalition intercepts Houthi ballistic missile targeting Khamis Mushait
Video shows 2 Iran-made ‘Samad’ drones launched by Houthis toward Saudi Arabia



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Omri Ceren


It could be that the Iran-backed Houthis are not, in fact, serious about peace.
View: https://twitter.com/omriceren/status/1369061850906824705?s=20

Iran International Englis


In response to Houthi attacks on #SaudiArabia White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US was “alarmed by the frequency" and would “look for ways to improve support for Saudi Arabia’s ability to defend its territory against threats.” https://tinyurl.com/dac2j8ea


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New Publication | Policy Brief
Can Europe Choreograph a
Saudi-Iranian Détente?

by Cinzia Bianco
MEDirections is delighted to share the latest policy brief by Cinzia Bianco, Gulf Research Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), in the frame of our Regional Security Initiative.
Geopolitical rivalries between the two shores of the Gulf are having a detrimental impact on the stability of the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. European interests, such as the security of land and maritime routes, the rescue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – a.k.a. the Iranian nuclear deal - and, crucially, the stabilisation of several regional crises – notably in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and the Horn of Africa – are severely affected. For this reason, working towards de-escalation in the Gulf has featured prominently of late in the foreign policy strategies of several European countries, including the European Union.The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, received a specific mandate for mediating a dialogue on Gulf security in 2020.

The recent election of Joe Biden as president of the United States (US) provides a momentum to push this forward. Under Biden, the US intends to return to the JCPOA and promote follow-on talks on regional security between the two shores of the Gulf. While nuclear diplomacy should not be directly tied to regional security talks, the only way to make a return to the JCPOA sustainable would be to keep regional players constructively engaged by meaningfully addressing their related threats perceptions. Europeans should not wait for the US to lead on this front. Instead, there should be an acknowledgement that the Biden administration will be pushing ahead with plans for American retrenchment from the MENA region and will be absorbed by the JCPOA question as well as by domestic matters.

The EU and individual European players should work in coordinated core groups, promoting confidence-building measures among the parties and encouraging them to explore ways to convert the principles of good neighbourliness into concrete geopolitical moves addressing core security issues. To do that, core groups should act under a single European umbrella, making Europe a geopolitical and security player.



Veteran Member
I just watched a flight from Amman to Baghdad drop off after entering Iraq. It seemed to draw the attention of a EURO fighter when it took off, No pursuit was given, and sense it has went dark along with a tanker.