Yemeni Drone Attacks in Saudi Arabia May Increase: Expert
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Norwegian security expert said the use of drone strikes against strategic targets in Saudi Arabia will continue as long as the war against Yemen continues, and it may even increase in scope.
Charles Stoeng stressed that such drone strikes are not only notoriously difficult to protect against, but also represent a major security challenge for Saudi Arabia.
“Due to the speed at which the technology is evolving, Saudi Arabia is struggling to develop an effective defense,” Stoeng explained to the news outlet Resett.
According to him, the increased use of long-range drones represents a new phase in the standoff between Saudi Arabia and Yemen and has lent a new dimension to the conflict, Sputnik reported.
“Increased range gives the Houthis (Yemeni Ansarullah forces) increased capacity. The drones can be used for reconnaissance purposes and to attack strategic targets deep within Saudi Arabia. It gives the war a new dimension", he said.
“Drone attacks may increase in magnitude in the time ahead. It all depends on how the war in Yemen develops,” he emphasized.
According to Stoeng, the rapid development of drone technology worldwide, together with the rather limited anti-drone countermeasures available on the market, will be a major challenge for security in the future.
Following the drone attack this weekend, Saudi Arabia announced a massive cut in production equaling 5.7 million barrels per day, or half of its output, tantamount to 5 percent of the world's total.
Yemeni forces claimed responsibility for the spectacular attack that hit two major oil fields, Abqaiq and Khurais, which lie deep within Saudi Arabia and are run by the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, using drones that were successfully sent and operated from a distance of 1,000 kilometers.
The Yemeni forces have increased use of drones markedly in 2019. They took responsibility for a total of 58 drone strikes in Saudi Arabia this year, including those targeting major oil infrastructures and military airports.