Notably too, most US media reported initially that the attacks were by drones flown from Yemen, Cunningham argued and added: Associated Press reported a level of sophistication in the attacks whereby drones were used first to disable the US Patriot radar systems before other UAVs proceeded to execute the air strikes. It therefore seems that US officials are attempting to switch the story by blaming Iran. It is reckless scapegoating because the logical consequence could elicit a military attack against Iran, in which event Tehran has warned it is ready for war.
According to Cunningham, a timeline shows that the Houthis are more than capable of launching ever-more powerful ballistic missiles and deeper penetrating drones into Saudi territory. The rebels have been using drones from the beginning of the war which the US-backed Saudi-UAE coalition launched on the southern Arabian country in March 2015.
Over the past four years, the Houthi aerial firepower has gradually improved. Earlier, the Saudis, with American defense systems, were able to intercept drones and missiles from Yemen. But over the last year, the rebels have increased their success rate for hitting targets in the Saudi interior, including the capital Riyadh.
In May this year, Houthi drones hit Saudi Arabia's crucial east-west pipeline. Then in August, drones and ballistic missiles were reported to have struck the Shaybah oil field near the border with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as the Dammam exporting complex in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.
According to the New York Times, "oil prices rose about 10 percent on Monday as investors reacted to a weekend attack on one of Saudi Arabia's most important oil facilities that could cripple petroleum exports for days or even weeks. But experts say that a severe shock to energy markets and the world economy would be unlikely."
"The attack on the Abqaiq processing facility and another plant, deep in Saudi territory, displayed the vulnerability of the kingdom to tensions in the Persian Gulf region," the NYT added.