This morning crude oil prices reached seven-year highs as geological tensions in the Middle East begin to pick up. Yesterday, a drone attack in Abu Dhabi claimed the lives of three people, destroyed three fuel tankers, storage facilities, and injured many more. Yemen’s Houthi movement, a movement closely associated with Iranian dealings, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Of the three people killed in the drone attack, two were Indian and one was Pakistani. The oil field attack by the Houthis is not the first – tensions have been tight for some time now. Since 2015, the Houthi-Saudi conflict has been at times extremely hostile, with the Houthis often launching rockets across the border and killing innocent civilians.
Because of this attack on Abu Dhabi, the government is asking the United States to categorize the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization. Last year the US removed the Houthis from their list of official terrorist organizations as President Biden pressured the Saudi’s to end the war with Yemen. According to state officials, the Saudi Arabian government is preparing a response, noting in a public statement that “the attack will not go unpunished,” leading many to believe this will be the start of yet another conflict escalation between the two sides.
While the conflict in the east right now is not surprising, the fact that new technology was used in this attack in the form of drones raises some serious security questions for the Saudi government. While we do not know specifics of the types of drones and the associated technology used in the attacks, over the coming days we should expect to see new detailed reports showing how this attack happened. An important question that need answering is whether or not this attack came from the Houthis, or from Iran directly. If intelligence suggest that these attacks originated from Iran, tensions may just get a little bit higher.