How Bolton’s departure and the Saudi Aramco drone attacks are linked - ZEKERIYA KURŞUN

How Bolton’s departure and the Saudi Aramco drone attacks are linked

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are now exhausted of the Yemen war they have been pursuing since 2015. They did not reap the fruit they expected to and fell into dispute among themselves. Each of them started to back different groups in Yemen. One of the most important reasons for this has been the attacks that occurred in UAE waters – even though Iran was accused – and remained unresolved.

Following the first threat it perceived close by, and against its own ports, the UAE gave up on its regional interests and started to do business behind its ally’s back. The sabotages, of which the perpetrators remain “unidentified,” worked. Perhaps it was done for just this very reason. During this period, Saudi Arabia fell into dispute with its closest allies. Such that, when the UAE held a meeting with Iran, it held a secret meeting with Qatar – through the mediation of Kuwait – in an attempt to provoke it.

The Gulf faced a new sabotage over the weekend. According to the claim, the two drone attacks on Aramco, the world’s most profitable oil company, rattled regional and global balances once more. The U.S.-origin Saudi oil production company halted production and sent its first message to the world.

Though it seems a little confusing, there are many reasons to think that there is a connection between these incidents and the latest developments at the White House.

The real reason behind the Yemen war was to ensure that a physical attack against Iran, which could not be launched during Barack Obama’s term, be done by the hand of crazy U.S. President Donald Trump. Coalitions, alliances, armaments were all shaped in accordance with this. In fact, even the White House team was formed in accordance with this. Trump supported the Yemen war. He renewed all the weapons in the Gulf. He filled all the weapons orders that could be purchased within the upcoming period, and received the support of the U.S. weaponry industry for the new term elections. But that is all – it did not go any further than that. As a matter of fact, the White House remained silent about Iran’s destruction of a U.S. unarmed aerial vehicle (UAV).

However, the latest development at the White House was the last straw in the Gulf. Bolton, who is known for his harsh attitude towards Iran and for being pro-war, being forced to resign led to great disappointment in Saudi Arabia. Because, even if not the king, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman trusted Bolton, and saw him as the likely hero of a physical attack to be launched against Iran. Is it even possible to consider the sacking of someone who has been advising Trump with respect to the Korea, Venezuela crises, in relations with Russia, in the Syria issue, and as a matter of fact, in relation to sanctions on Turkey, independently of the Iran and Gulf problem?

Getting quickly to the point, let us question once more the attacks on two of Aramco’s production facilities. Let us ask who the real perpetrators of these sabotages, which were assumed by the Iran-back Houthis from a proximity of about 1,200 kilometers, are. If the Houthis were able to conduct this attack with primitive drones from such a long distance – as claimed – then the world is facing great threats from small powers. What is most important is that the weapons industry, which is where their biggest investments lie, is under attack. In fact – even if slightly ironic – there is no need even for the F-35s.

So, if they were not the ones that carried out this attack, who did it? This question, like all other sabotages in the Gulf, remains unanswered. However, taking a look at who benefits from the end result makes it possible to guess.

The fire that erupted following the attack on the world’s best-protected Aramco oil facilities was taken under control, but production was stopped. The U.S. and U.K. voiced their reaction. Additionally, Trump called Mohammed bin Salman and told him that he stands on his side.

In the face of a true disaster, I too am on the side of Saudi Arabia, and as a matter of fact, on the side of Mohammed bin Salman – just as I am on the side of the people of Yemen suffering from the war in which hundreds and thousands of lives were lost in the last four years and millions lost their future. Yet, it is certain that there are important differences between the factors provoking me and the power provoking Trump.

Then I must ask, are the developments in the Gulf a repercussion of John Bolton’s dismissal? Or should I perceive this as a final judgment? In contrast to Saudi Arabia’s ancient enmity towards Iran, gun lords are asking the U.S. administration to transfer oil and natural gas at cheap prices and in a secure manner in order to be able to continue their production. Is this not the regional policy the U.S. has been continuing for the last half century anyway?

In this case, I leave the guessing work with respect to the reasons and perpetrators behind the latest sabotages to you.


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