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23 September 2019


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Pompeo laughed today at the ludicrous thought that the Yemenis could have attacked Abqaiq, Who laughs last laughs best.



Oscar Peterson

Wonder where the "commando team" was hanging out prior to and after the mission. Things could get rougher than usual for Hasa's Shia.

Also, what kind of terminal guidance--target designators of some kind or a joy-stick hand off?

Amazing that Abqaiq has been recognized for years as both critical and highly vulnerable yet the Saudis have done almost nothing about it. How can a country like that imagine itself as a regional leader?

Comical too that Saudi probably won't fix the problem even now. The US doesn't make the air/missile defense systems it needs. They can't buy Russian without enraging the US and the they can't buy Israeli without enraging their own people.

Tant pis!


"....they don’t wish to admit that the drones are Iranian-made and were able to dodge the radars that are deployed in the region...."

Incoming cloaking or dodging seems to be central given our/Israeli silence re publishing (surface or stelllite) telemetry. Perhaps it doesn't matter..diversion or not. That the Aramco installation got seriously ripped I suspect does. lAC does anyone have a clue if Aramco itself or under DOD contract posess "the best" 24/7active air defence cover whatevers?


TTG has suggested several terminal guidance system including laser designation.



IMO the Israelis would not have access to such telemetry or satellited detaction of the launches.



A number of Yemeni engineers have been trained there.


All IMO It is likely that the weapons were built in Yemen based on Iranian technology that had been modified by the Yemenis


Ah, Lindsey Graham is working on securing them access to this, never fear. What a mensch, eh?


"commando unit from Saudi land"

Are they suggesting a guerilla commando unit or a commando unit from the Saudi military/paramilitary?

Does the Saudi military include any Shia from eastern KSA? I've always assumed they would not be in the military. This might be a stupid question and apologies in advance if it is.

If the commando unit was from the Saudi military, can we assume that some of the military is still loyal to former military/intel princes/officials who are now enemies of MbS and that a coup or takedown of some kind could be part of the explanation of the Abqaiq attacks?

Christian J Chuba

Could not agree w/you more, teach a man to fish vs. give a man a fish.

It would also explain why the drones are more numerous today vs 2yrs ago even though most of Yemen's ports are captured. 4yrs of R&D by Iranian engineers on how to adapt manufacturing technique for the Yemenis is now paying off. If the Iranians were just giving advanced drones and missiles to them wouldn't the coalition capture a boatload of parts every now and again? I remember how we made such a big deal about finding a few skiffs with Iranian made AK47's.


In order not to believe that one has to assume that the Houthi's and the Iranians are lying and that the Americans and the Saudi's are telling the truth. Would anyone like to buy a weapon of mass destruction to go with the bridge I'm selling?


more from Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm:

"The Houthis have changed the rules of engagement. The message they delivered with the latest attacks is, in their own words, that they will continue striking targets deep inside Saudi Arabia until the country’s leadership realizes that “killing more Yemenis will not force them to their knees.”

"In the meantime, a question is worth asking: Who is going to buy a stake in Saudi Aramco now? The Saudi government is desperate to offer shares in the giant corporation for sale. Even if they ever go on the market, how much will they fetch? Is it as coincidence that the attacks were launched just as Riyadh was stepping up efforts to proceed with a share offering?

"Those unsophisticated mountain-dwelling Yemenis are clearly not as stupid as their enemies think.



Robert E. Hunter writes:
" I conceived the Carter Doctrine and, except for the “action clause” cited above, added by National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, I wrote virtually all the State of the Union Address."

" among aspects of Iranian behavior the U.S. opposes and uses to justify tightening sanctions, Iran’s being the “largest state sponsor of terror” is not one: that title belongs to religious fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia, who are given free rein by Riyadh and tolerated by Washington."

" economic sanctions are always “acts of war,” even though not of a “kinetic” nature."

"we should not use the 1980 Carter Doctrine to either require or justify moving toward war."


forgot the link, here:


Col. Lang - I've tried six different search engines and cannot find any reference to Alastair Crooke's "The Raw and the Cooked" on line magazine. Could you post a web address and/or contact information for that service.

The Twisted Genius

Gemeni333, clearly something was lost in translation. The commando unit most likely refers to action agents or an underground cell from Shia tribes living in Saudi Arabia. They would be controlled/directed by the Yemenis or Iranians. They would not be Saudi military or Saudi "commando" unit.

Terence Gore

"Iran possesses advanced drones that are capable of flying for long distances while loaded with explosives. These include drones that can carry out suicide missions by striking fixed targets such as the Muhajir, Raad, and Karrar drones. These have succeeded in the past to fly above the American aircraft carriers."

That sounds like the ability to close the strait for an extended period.


Yes, also it is not just about Yemen.
The experience of being able to manufacture such weaponry in Yemeni conditions could come in handy.
For example if push comes to shove and the US blockades the Iran and bombs its military production infrastructure.


The Syrians use something that in English is translated to "Commando" and I assume the same is happening here. It is a small, better trained unit that can take on more difficult, somewhat independent assignments. Similar to what the German Storm troopers were in World War One, but not as extreme as a lot of the special forces type units you have in the United States Armed Forces.



exchange@conflictsforum.com is the e-mail to use to establish contact with Alastair Crooke.



Sa'aqa is probably the word used. This implies troops who are something like a cross betwee what the US Army calls "rangers" (elite assault troops) and Long Range Recon Patrols (LRRP) rather that actual special forces like TTG and me.


Fourth and Long

I don't csre what Wilkerson says or thinks. he and Powell participated in the great deception that enabled the neocon driven invasion and disastrous COIN war in Iraq. he should go and hide in shame forever.

JP Billen

60 meters is the minimum flight altitude shown on the Patriot data sheet above. Yet most cruise missiles fly below that. The US Tomahawk flies at 30 to 50 meters above ground level. And Tomahawk has been in service for well over 35 years. So why wouldn’t foreign-made cruise missiles, including the QUDS-1 have a similar flight profile. Why would anyone expect a system designed and built to destroy high flying bombers and tactical ballistic missiles to destroy, or even see, a ground hugging cruise missile?


To fly very low a cruise missile needs a radar altimeter and/or very very accurate satellite derived mapping data to avoid obstacles. The Houthi wouldn't have the data and radar altimeters probably leak enough radiation to give you away.

.......and finally, hugging the ground at 200mph+ is not an easy task for flight controls and software.

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