Aris 13 — Kevin Finnigan/Tropic Maritime Images
❝ Somali pirates who hijacked an oil tanker have released it without condition, according to officials.
The announcement came hours after the pirates and naval forces exchanged gunfire over a boat believed to be carrying supplies to the hijackers.
❝ The tanker, which was en route from Djibouti to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, was seized on Monday with eight Sri Lankan crew members on board.
It is the first hijack off Somalia’s coast since 2012…
❝ The Sri Lankan foreign ministry said the crew members were released “unharmed, without the payment of a ransom”.
A pirate confirmed the release was made without a ransom payment, according to Reuters…
❝ Mr Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan earlier said that “pirates” on board the tanker had opened fire on Thursday after authorities tried to intercept a boat believed to be carrying essential supplies, such as food.
Four people were wounded in the exchange of fire on Thursday…
The vessel was carrying oil and was owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite conflicting reports over the flag it was sailing under, he added.
❝ On Wednesday, the authorities were then still trying to determine whether the gunmen, who have not given any details about the size of the ransom, were organised pirates or fishermen whose equipment was destroyed by illegal fishing vessels, as they had claimed to be.
Piracy off the coast of Somalia, usually for ransom, has reduced significantly in recent years, in part because of extensive international military patrols as well as support for local fishing communities…
Some Somali fishermen turned to piracy after their livelihoods were destroyed by illegal fishing from foreign trawlers, which benefited from the lack of a functioning coastguard in the country following years of conflict.
The little guy doesn’t even get noticed in coverage of so-called important stuff. Like Saudi oil.
…At the Global Force Symposium in Alabama, U.S. General David Perkins said that an unspecified U.S. ally used a $3 million Patriot missile to shoot down a quadcopter that likely cost around $200-$300.
“That quadcopter that cost 200 bucks from Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot [missile],” Perkins said. “I’m not sure that’s a good economic exchange ratio.”
“Now, that worked, they got it, OK, and we love Patriot missiles,” Perkins said. “[But] if I’m the enemy, I’m thinking, ‘Hey, I’m just gonna get on eBay and buy as many of these $300 quadcopters as I can and expend all the Patriot missiles out there?’”
Unfortunately, Perkins didn’t elaborate on the incident any further, except to say that the country who shot down the drone was “a very close ally.”
There have been reports of guerrilla groups in Iraq fastening weapons on dozens of drones at a time and flying them at their enemies…The cost ratio between these drones and large surface-to-air missiles makes defending against this drone tactic a costly endeavor.
“It is clearly enormous overkill,” Justin Bronk…told the BBC. “It certainly exposes in very stark terms the challenge which militaries face in attempting to deal with the adaptation of cheap and readily available civilian technology with extremely expensive, high-end hardware designed for state-on-state warfare.”
No matter. The military-industrial complex which holds absolute control of the Pentagon and virtually every member of Congress – Democrat or Republican – will continue to get their welfare checks for building Navy ships that can be sunk by speedboats, million-dollar tanks that can be stopped by $45 RPGs, jet fighters at $100+ million can wow everyone at an air show and star in movies that cost as much as a plane or two – still manage to kill schoolkids in a building that looks just like the one next door hosting a terrorist luncheon.
The backwards mindset – and concept budgets – that ruled our military and politicians at the end of World War 2 are still in charge of the United States government. Often useless against pissed-off folks with a charge card and access to online shopping.