Small Wars Journal

AP Analysis: Saudi Oil Attack Part of Dangerous New Pattern

AP Analysis: Saudi Oil Attack Part of Dangerous New Pattern by Jon Gambrell – AP

The assault on the beating heart of Saudi Arabia's vast oil empire follows a new and dangerous pattern that's emerged across the Persian Gulf this summer of precise attacks that leave few obvious clues as to who launched them.

Beginning in May with the still-unclaimed explosions that damaged oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, the region has seen its energy infrastructure repeatedly targeted. Those attacks culminated with Saturday's assault on the world's biggest oil processor in eastern Saudi Arabia, which halved the oil-rich kingdom's production and caused energy prices to spike.

Some strikes have been claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have been battling a Saudi-led coalition in the Arab world's poorest country since 2015. Their rapidly increasing sophistication fuels suspicion among experts and analysts however that Iran may be orchestrating them — or perhaps even carrying them out itself as the U.S. alleges in the case of Saturday's attack…

Read on.