US official: Attack on Saudi oil facilities came from Iran

US official: No doubt that Iran is responsible for attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities.

Elad Benari ,

Smoke at Aramco facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia
Smoke at Aramco facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia
Reuters

The attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on Saturday came from the direction of Iran, and cruise missiles may have been used, a senior US official told Reuters on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia said that the drone strikes on its key oil facilities disrupted about half of the kingdom's oil capacity, or 5% of the daily global oil supply.

Yemen's Houthi rebels took responsibility for the attacks, saying 10 drones targeted state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

The US official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets - the direction of Iran - not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

“There’s no doubt that Iran is responsible for this. No matter how you slice it, there’s no escaping it. There’s no other candidate,” the official said, according to Reuters.

The remarks follow those of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who also blamed Iran for the attack on Saudi oil facilities.

"Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy," Pompeo tweeted. "Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen."

It has long been believed that Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Iran has long denied that it is backing the Houthis and has also denied Saudi Arabian accusations that Tehran provided the Houthi rebels in Yemen with ballistic capabilities.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Sunday dismissed the US allegation it was responsible as “pointless”. A senior Revolutionary Guards commander warned that the Islamic Republic was ready for “full-fledged” war.

“All American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Commander Amirali Hajizadeh as saying.




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