Although the incident that happened just before dawn yesterday was not the first of its kind, it was a spark that had the potential to cause havoc and destruction to the whole Middle East. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) successfully destroyed an MQ-4, with an RQ-4A body, over the international waters above the Strait of Hormoz belonging to the USA Navy.
According to the reports and news circulating the $123 million dollars Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton started its flight path from UAE’s airbase “ Al Dhafre” approximately at 00:14 AM and moved along a dangerous narrow passage formed in the Hormoz between UAE’s, Oman’s, and Iran’s airspace. The Strait of Hormoz that was previously and still is a contested passage between the Gulf Countries and Iran offers a tight passage forming international waters where it converges to only 21 nautical miles (39 km) thus forcing ships that transport up to 35% of the worldwide oil to pass in either Iranians or Omanese territory and here is when it becomes sketchy.
Almost a year ago Donald Trump, the current President of the United States of America, unilaterally withdrew from the Nuclear deal that was agreed on by the P5+1 and the Europeans union aiming to get what he called a better deal. However, the only problem was that the 18 October 2015 Nuclear deal was already too fragile even though it took 13 years to accomplish. Iran simply was not in as much as it needed it and the USA was not a believer as much as Obama needed an achievement to add to his record besides being the guardian of peace and the savior of the so-called Rebels in Syria when the chemical attack false flag almost caused a NATO invasion of Syria.
On the other hand, Donald’s personality was a mystery to most in the political field. Donald Trump, the billionaire, ended up being nothing other the person he was during the past 60 years… A businessman. As the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, said: “ Trump only knows dollars dollars and dollars, and just look at how he tackled the Iranian war mentioning financial loses and oil prices before even mentioning any human loses the USA might face”. This is a very accurate assumption judging by how Trump’s administration is tackling the foreign policy and its drive to make “better” deals and new treaties with Mexico and Canada regarding NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement, before moving toward changing the trade agreement with China and the traffics on European goods and finally the Iranian Nuclear deal that he deemed dead before birth and a major failure by the Obama administration. However, thinking about it, Trump who promised in his campaign the end of the global wars and the pullout from the ME ended doing exactly what he condemned and attacked Obama for unironically during the same period before the re-elections.
Trump was too weak and what happened to General Joseph Votel shows it all. Just a few days after Trump ordered a full pullout from Syria Votel, a 4 star general and the commander of United States Central Command, publically opposed the pullout labeling it as a big mistake. Votel was forced to retire in his prime for the mistake of opposing the president publically but his words only echoed a truth. The Pullout is a very big mistake and the act shows the defeat of the USA in Syria. Votel echoed the American’s actual foreign policy toward Syria that was stronger than the president himself.
Votel was sacked but the USA stayed in Syria as expected since the Kurdish Card did not mold yet and is still very effective and able to pressure Damascus. Trump is surrounded by war hawks regardless if he is as motivated as them or not but he enabled the hands of John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the man in shadows Jared Kushner. These factors all build up what the trump administration will be and continue to be after he is re-elected as expected in 2020. Nothing good will come from a war hawk, a CIA director, Israel’s PM, and the godfather of a secret deal in the Middle East.
Things escalated and kept on escalating to reach the tip a month ago when Iran was accused of attacking two ships that belonged to UAE and KSA, then with the Ansarallah’s continuous retaliation attacks on KSA, then the attack on the Norwegian and Japanese ships in the Gulf of Oman. The sketchy thing is that we all know that Iran is not that naive to attack useless targets in such a sensitive time especially the Japanese tankers when the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, was making a historic visit to Iran after 40 years. That and the false accusations blaming Iran for the actions of Ansarallah who have been facing an unjust war since 2015 and have the full right to attack when attacked. What made this time different is that everyone is afraid of another Iraq tier misinformation campaign regarding another Gulf of Tonkin false flag in the Persian Gulf.
The tankers incidents might be false flags no one rules that out, orchestrated by a 3rd party to start the most anticipated war of the 21st century but the Drone incident was not one and was actually a miscalculation by both sides.
Judging by the flight path the Iranian side provided, unlike the Americans, the American MQ-4C after it left UAE flew above the international waters in the Strait of Hormoz avoided trespassing the Iranian airspace. However, reading and comprehending the data provided by the Iranians it seems that they have been following the drone for 4 hours mapping its route. During these four hours, the Iranians have definitely prepared to hit the drone the second it trespasses the Iranian airspace as there was no possible way for them to speculate what a MQ-4C wanted to do and what was its task.
The drone flew for 4 hours and at approximately 4:05 AM the Drone entered the Iranian airspace to be then targeted by what the Iranians claimed to be Khordad-3 anti-aircraft system that is capable of engaging with 4 targets simultaneously. However putting all these facts aside, judging by the flight’s path the drone was not planning to trespass the Iranian airspace and was just circulating the Hormoz gathering information and data. Yes the sole presence is unacceptable and provocative but it’s what it is and what seems to have actually happened is that the drone that usually is on autopilot when flying from one point to another drifted into the Iranians airspace due to unspecified errors and the controller missed or was too late and could not change the course in time.
The Drone was engaged with above Iranian water at (25°59’43″N 57°02’25″E) as claimed by the Iranians which is accurate and downed above international waters 34 kilometers which is also accurate as claimed by the Americans. The only thing that keeps this sketchy is that the Iranians claimed that the USA turned off the drone’s transponders which is only done when on secret offensive missions and did not provide any data to back its claim that they did not enter the Iranian airspace and did not, in fact, breach the airspace twice. Add to all that the footage of the destroyed drone was captured by another drone that was about 6.6 km away. This arouses another question on why was there another drone following this drone and were they both on the same mission or on two distinct ones in the Gulf.
On the other hand, after this all happened, the response is what sets things apart. However, judging by Trump’s big words and small actions a retaliative strike is not near since they both understand to a certain extent that it was unintentional in reality. Trump tweeted “Iran made a big mistake” and that he was ready to strike 3 Iranian positions but stopped because of the moral obligation and that 150 possible deaths are not worth a $123 million dollar drone.
We all know these are just lies for the public to consume and that the stakes are much higher because there is real deterrence between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The USA has the Gulf States in its back, and Iran also has powerful allies in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. What stopped Trump’s attack is not his fake moral obligation which is absent in Yemen and Syria but rather the high stakes. It’s the clash between the Titans.