Who dun it?



Not only who but how? the waterline damage at the stern suggest a small boat quite possibly remotely controlled from a distance using commercial drone technology.

Who? is presumably Iran which would benefit hugely if oil tankers could not use the Strait of Hormuz, but they are not the only ones with a motive:

But despite the chest beating, the culprit is unlikely to be President Trump or John



Someone fluent in Yiddish?


Hello Floss,

There’s never smoke without fire. The tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran continuing to decline. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if there’s a hot war between them and the Iranians close the Strait of Hormuz. I don’t think the U S would stand idly by and watch the situation develop that would have serious consequences on the global economy.

The following backs up your links that something is afoot between the regional super powers of S A & Iran

This is a news item that I missed yesterday.

“”"Oil prices rose by almost 2% on Tuesday, after Saudi Arabia said explosive-laden drones had attacked facilities belonging to the country’s state oil firm Aramco.

The drones were sent out by a Yemeni-armed movement aligned to Iran, the Saudi Arabian government said.

The terrorist attack saw drones strike two oil pumping stations in the country."""



Let’s hope actually this doesn’t escalate. So glad the AM got out of Dubai when she did!


So how will the KSA respond? There are many possibilities, but the movement of US forces to the area and the ties between the US and the KSA would suggest that the response will be punitive but covert. i.e. there will be mysterious explosions in various locations used by the drone operators that can be ascribed to carelessness when preparing their next attack. `Hoist with their own petard’

But drones are such an obvious and convenient form of guerrilla warfare and oil pipelines (and tankers etc) are such obvious difficult to defend but extremely valuable targets that we can expect many such attacks in the ME where enemies are so fiercely opposed and so closely



Hello Floss,

Given all the trouble in the Middle East in recent years I’m more than surprised that there has never been a major interruption in oil supplies from the region. If there is a war of words between the K of S A & Iran the oil will keep flowing but if there’s an escalation into a conflict of arms then anything could happen.

I can’t see the U S sitting idly by and let Iran get out of control. The one thing that could set in motion a train of events that could have a dire end product is a preemptive strike on Iran by Israel.

It’s interesting to read of the effect drones could have in conflict between the two adversaries. I wonder what the end game will be?



In the West, we are accustomed to nationally directed defence/warfare but that may not apply in the ME. For a start, religion remains a serious issue and culling infidels (of whatever persuasion) is a worthwhile objective on the path to heaven and all those virgins. So there may be Shia groups loosely affiliated to Iran happy to harass the infidels using whatever means they can lay their hands on, hence the drone attacks. Even though the damage inflicted to date has been minor, it is the overt threat that will raise insurance rates and deter ship owners from putting their vessels and crews in harm’s way.

Provided no Iranian vessels or oil are targeted, the hazard helps Iran, so Iranian counter-measures are likely to be either non-existent or purely window-dressing. It is difficult to defend against drones whether aerial or seaborne and the cost of a missile will be many times that of the target.

The conventional `solution’ would be to attack the bases from which the drones originate, but they don’t require fixed facilities and can be controlled from anywhere along the coast. Even more importantly, the bases will be on Iranian territory and an attack on the bases is therefore an attack on Iran.

A far better answer is to equip the ships with counter-measures and presumably some form of electronic interference with the drone’s navigational/communication software might be the answer. Each ship could then perhaps be enclose in an electronic noise bubble into which drones cannot penetrate. As this might possibly also mess up the ship’s own navigational controls, we could get back to the heroic days and captains will once again pace about shooting the stars with their sextants rather that watching



PS After a rejuvenating bike ride, I can see that mines would be the ideal solution if Iran or Hezbollah decide to block the Straits of Hormuz to all but Iranian tankers. These days they can be positioned and the Iranian tankers given the GPS



I never expected the sophistication of `underwater drones carrying 30-50 kg (65-110 lb) of high-grade