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Drone attack implications

Sep 16,2019 - Last updated at Sep 16,2019

The drone attacks by the Houthis on Saturday targeting the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia that disrupted up to half of the oil supply from the Aramco-operated facility is certainly a game changer not only for the four-year war in Yemen, but also for the entire region and beyond.

What added to the sense of urgency in the wake of the ominous attacks is the suspicion that the Houthis may have gotten some "intelligence" support from within Saudi Arabia. The drones used were very advanced and sophisticated with devastating effects that have impacted the entire global oil market.

Halting the oil supply from Saudi Arabia affects the global economy, and may have been intended to bring the "enemies" of Iran down on their knees. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is certain that Iran was behind the attacks as part and parcel of its general confrontation profile with the US, with a view to bring added pressure on President Donald Trump in the on-again, off-again secret negotiations between the two sides and to deescalate tensions between them and relax the US economic sanctions on Tehran.

Pompeo should know for sure who ordered the drones, as his country has the intelligence network to verify which side fired them. Iran may have wanted to send the message that it is not about to "surrender" to US pressures, and is willing and able to raise the stakes in the deadlock between it and the US.

Yet, the implications of the drone attack go beyond the US and Iran. As the EU said in the aftermath of the attacks, the implications reach to global security and economy.

The first lesson to be drawn from the attack could be that the war in Yemen is simply unwinnable. After four years of warfare, with thousands of people killed or injured on both sides of the fence, it must have dawned on all sides by now that neither antagonist is going to win the conflict militarily. The sooner the warring nations come to this inevitable conclusion the sooner the search for a solution could begin.

The second lesson to be drawn could be that Iran is not about to succumb to military pressures from President Trump. If anything, the Iranian authorities seem bent on increasing their hostile profile towards the US.

The third conclusion is that the Middle East could be on the verge of more turbulent times ahead. Jordan could certainly be affected as well.

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