Saudis spent $62+billion last year on armaments. Yemeni Houthis just attacked with $15K drones.

Half Saudi Arabia’s oil production shut down. 5% of global oil supply.

❝ Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on key Saudi oil facilities on Saturday, setting off blazes that could be seen from space and showcasing how cheap new technologies allow even minor militant groups to inflict serious damage on major powers…

It was not clear how badly damaged the facilities were, but shutting them down for more than a few days would disrupt world oil supplies. Between them, the two centers can process 8.45 million barrels of crude oil a day, amounting to the vast majority of the production in Saudi Arabia, which produces almost one-tenth of the world’s crude oil…

❝ The difference in resources available to the attacker and the victim could hardly have been greater, illustrating how David-and-Goliath style attacks using cheap drones are adding a new layer of volatility to the Middle East.

Such attacks not only damage vital economic infrastructure, they increase security costs and spread fear — yet they are remarkably cheap. The drones used in Saturday’s attack may have cost $15,000 or less to build, said Wim Zwijnenburg, a senior researcher on drones at PAX, a Dutch peace organization.

The Global Military-Industrial Complex still hasn’t learned crap about guerrilla warfare. Sure, the Pentagon and their peers know how to spend taxpayer dollars by the bucketload. They’re mostly backed up by political hacks who still think the best solution to civilized inequity is to resolve disquiet and resentment with weapons ranging from bullets to bombs. Nothing cheap of course. No self-respecting graduate of West Point would be found killing significant populations without delivery systems costing million$.

RTFA. Maximum cost per each of these drones was about $15,000. A third of the price of the average new pickup truck bought in the GOUSA.

10 thoughts on “Saudis spent $62+billion last year on armaments. Yemeni Houthis just attacked with $15K drones.

  1. بازی با آتش says:

    Asymmetric warfare
    Drone strikes knock out half of Saudi oil capacity, 5 million barrels a day
    US blames Iran for strikes on Saudi oil sites : “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” Secretary of State Pompeo tweeted. “There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a prominent foreign policy hawk, said the U.S. should consider striking Iranian oil refineries in response to new attacks on Saudi oil refineries by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. “It is now time for the U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment,” Graham tweeted.
    “Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real, like attacking their refineries, which will break the regime’s back,” he added.
    “while Aramco is confident that it can recover quickly [from the drone attack], if it can’t, however, the world could face a production shortage of as much 150MM barrels per month. An outcome which could send oil prices into the triple digits.”

    (September 10, 2019) “Today’s stubbornly-low oil prices are standing in the way of Saudi Arabia’s grand ambitions.”

    • Gulf of Tonkin says:

      “Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.”

      Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 3:50 PM – 15 Sep 2019
      “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

      Critics condemned Trump’s threat to act, especially at the Saudis’ behest. Rep. Justin Amash, of Michigan, a former Republican and now Independent, tweeted, “Under our Constitution, the power to commence war lies with Congress, not the president and certainly not Saudi Arabia. We don’t take orders from foreign powers.”

  2. Ante up says:

    (A/P May 16, 2019): “A Yemen rebel drone strike this week on a critical Saudi oil pipeline shows that the otherwise-peaceful sandy reaches of the Arabian Peninsula now are at risk of similar assault, including an under-construction nuclear power plant and Dubai International Airport, among the world’s busiest.”
    “U.N. investigators said the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles).
    That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two main opponents of the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, within reach of drones difficult to detect and track. …The drone, with a wingspan of 4.5 meters (14.7 feet), has a V-shaped tail fin. It’s powered by a rear-mounted engine and has been found with what appears to be extra fuel tanks welded it to, a U.N. panel of experts found. It carries a 18-kilogram (40-pound) warhead.
    Stratfor (May 14, 2019): “Drone incidents and potential range of Houthi drones”

  3. '43 Ploesti says:

    “For the last four years, the Houthi forces in Yemen have used a mixture of missiles and drones seized from the Yemeni military and—based on forensic evidence from downed missiles and drones—provided by Iran. A December 2017 show-and-tell at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington DC included Iraninan-built drones used by the Houthis. Among the drones were the “Qaseth-1” (“Striker-1”), a rebranded “loitering munition” craft based on Iran’s Ababil-2 uncrewed aerial vehicle, a UAV that Iran has produced since the late 1980s. (The same UAV was operated under the name “Mirsad-1″ by Hezbollah until 2018.)
    The Houthis have also used cruise missiles in the past—including a cruise-missile attack against Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport in June that wounded 26 civilians. Based on photos, the missiles appear to be Iranian copies of a Soviet-era KH-55 air-launched cruise missile adapted for ground launch. Iran obtained a dozen KH-55 cruise missiles from Ukraine in 2001. The Houthis unveiled the new cruise missiles this past July and claimed to have new longer-range drones as well.
    Unlike the Qaseth-1, the Iranian KH-55 clones potentially have a range of up to 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles). From Yemen, that would allow the Houthis to strike targets as far away as Israel and most of Eastern Africa. The Houthis claimed in December 2017 to have targeted a United Arab Emirates nuclear plant with a cruise missile, but the UAE denied that they had been targeted.” [see links]
    See also “Iran’s strength and strategy show with Saudi oilfield attacks” (which concludes): “In historical terms, the Abqaiq attack may come to be listed alongside the demise of the knight in armor, or the introduction of the machine gun, in the advance of military technology. All in all, it was quite a weekend for the world.”

  4. Lawrence says:

    “Saudi Arabia — one of the world’s largest oil exporters — spent an estimated $67.6 billion on arms in 2018, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
    The Middle Eastern country was just behind the U.S. and China in terms of defense spending, said Gary Grappo, former U.S. ambassador to Oman and previously in senior positions at the U.S. embassies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Baghdad, Iraq.
    “I think the Saudi leadership has a great deal of explaining to do that a country that ranks third in terms of total defense spending … was not able to defend its most critical, and I can’t underscore that enough, its most critical oil facility from these kinds of attacks,” said Grappo.

    “How could Saudi Arabia, a country with the world’s third-largest military budget and six battalions of U.S.-built Patriot missile-defense systems, fail to defend the beating heart of the oil industry on which the kingdom depends?” (Stars and Stripes)
    As audacious as the strike was, it was only the latest in a series and should have come as no surprise. The effectiveness of the Saudi military machine has long been questioned, despite spending $83 billion on defense last year, compared to $45 billion for Russia and $20 billion for regional rival Iran.
    “What amazes me is, what happened to the American anti-missile systems?” said Fawaz A. Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics at the London School of Economics. “This reflects terribly on the U.S. and its defense systems. The Iranians know this now and the lessons learned here will be applied in Syria, Lebanon and others areas in the future.”

    On March 20, 2017, a Qasef-1 drone was used by Houthi forces to strike Saudi Patriot systems deployed against Yemeni missiles. Unnamed military sources in the UAE said: “While the Coalition deploys Patriot systems to counter missile threats, the destruction of the Patriots’ radar systems enables Houthi and Saleh-aligned forces to target Coalition assets with volleys of missile-fire unhindered.”

  5. Ante up says:

    “Houthis unveil Russian air-to-air missiles as SAMs” (Feb 28, 2020)
    Reports the Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (the Houthis) had turned seized Russian made air-to-air missiles into improvised surface-to-air missiles have been circulating for months. An attack on a Saudi F-15 in January that was filmed by a commandeered FLIR turret was claimed to have been executed using one of these missiles. Now it seems we have definitive proof that these weapons are indeed being put to use in Yemen and in an effective manner. (March 2018)
    See also: “Turkish drones – a ‘game changer’ in Idlib” “Ahead of Erdogan-Putin summit, Syrian opposition forces take strategic Idlib positions backed by Turkish drone power.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.