Middle East oil war spreads. First demos in Saudi Arabia, Iraq refinery blasted
Iraq's biggest oil refinery at Baiji, 180 kilometers north of Baghdad, was blown up early Saturday, Feb. 26, by an Al Qaeda cell activated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods Brigades
Thursday night, Feb. 24, saw the first signs of unrest in Saudi Arabia with demonstrations by young people demanding reforms of the kingdom's system of government and by Shiites living and working in the kingdom's oil-rich eastern regions. They demonstrated at Awwamiya in Qatif in solidarity with the protests in Libya and Bahrain.
Once again, we see Iran in the middle of things, stirring the pot:
The slightest sign of unrest in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, is bound to affect the price of oil. Iran is the biggest beneficiary of soaring prices. Day after day, as Arab capitals are beset by popular turbulence, Tehran is watching the damage caused its economy by international sanctions shrinking.
Early Saturday, Tehran gave the oil market another nudge by knocking Iraq's biggest refinery out of action just hours after clashes with anti- government rallies left nine dead in three North Iraqi towns.
The gunmen shot four refinery guards and engineers and blew up the Al Shamal unit, its main kerosene and benzene producer, leaving sticky bombs in other operational units to explode after they fled. It took hours to put the fire out. The entire installation is now closed. "We are not talking about days," said a refinery official, "The damage is too severe."
So what does this mean?
DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that the sabotage of the Iraqi refinery marked another stage in the fuel war becoming an integral part of the rising tide of protest engulfing the Middle East since Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution erupted in January. On February 5, the Palestinian Hamas used the uprising in Egypt to blow up the Sinai gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan. Supplies have been cut off since then.
In Libya...the fighting in oil-sensitive areas is thought to have cut supplies by half. It is estimated that Libya's partition between Cyrenaica and Tripolitania will split half of its oil resources roughly equally between the two entities, leaving the export terminals with the rebels.
Today is full of news which relate to Iran's Influence:
'Syria and Iran to cooperate on naval training'
Agreement signed by commanders of both navies, Iranian news agency says; announcement comes same day of reports that Russia intends to complete transfer of cruise missiles to Syria.
The agreement came days after two Iranian warships – the Khark, which has 250 crew members and can carry three helicopters, and the Alvand, which is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles – arrived at Syria's Latakia seaport on Thursday, sailing through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean.
Security and Defense: Channeling chutzpah
As two Iranian warships – the Khark, which has 250 crew members and can carry three helicopters, and the Alvand, which is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles – entered the southern end of the Suez Canal en route to Syria, the Defense Ministry announced another successful test of the Arrow 2 ballistic missile defense system.
The decision to send two warships through the canal to Syria is an attempt to show the world that, despite sanctions and diplomatic isolation, Iran is still a major regional player.
it is possible they are carrying explosives, missiles and other assorted weaponry for Hezbollah. Using warships to transport weaponry would be a smart move by Iran, which was caught in 2009 using the cargo ship Francop to transport hundreds of tons of weaponry to the Lebanese guerrilla organization.
By sending warships through the Suez Canal for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the ayatollahs are showing they can attack Israel from the sea.
The crossing was also likely aimed at flexing a muscle directly in Egypt’s face. Under Hosni Mubarak, ties between the two countries hit an unprecedented low.
Wikileaks Cables Reveal Muslim Brotherhood Ties to Iran
The Hamas charter and Iran’s use of the Brotherhood in Egypt as a proxy prove that it is a violent organization and that Iran is using it to destabilize Egypt. Given Iran’s operational style, it is only prudent to believe that our Middle Eastern nemesis is also providing clandestine support to Brotherhood chapters in Jordan, Yemen, Algeria, Tunisia, and elsewhere.
So no longer does the Obama team have to rely on biased and meddlesome outside observers to advise it on the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood.
If it just reviews its own classified State Department cable traffic it will learn that the Brotherhood in Egypt is the clandestine proxy of our arch-enemy Iran, that our allies in the UAE regard it is as too dangerous to participate in free elections, that Muslim Brothers created Spain’s first Islamic terrorist organizations, and that the jihad-mongering Muslim Brother Qaradawi, who is closely associated with our own Muslim American Society, continues to support Hamas, which we ourselves list as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization.
And finally, this:
IAF strikes Islamic Jihad and Hamas targets in Gaza
IAF attacked two Islamic Jihad and Hamas targets in the central Gaza strip overnight Friday, in response to Kassam rockets fired on the Sdot Negev Regional Council earlier in the day.
On Thursday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Hamas, “I do not suggest that anyone test the State of Israel’s resolve,” a day after two Grad-model Katyusha rockets slammed into Beersheba for the first time since Operation Cast Lead over two years ago.
Never a dull moment in the Middle East and today is no exception. It is truly amazing that just a little digging with almost any developing turmoil will find Iran in the mixture - pushing buttons behind the scenes - attempting to set the stage for Israel's destruction.