Daring Drone Attack Cuts Saudi Oil Output; Houthi Rebels Claim Responsibility

An audacious drone attack set Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq and the nearby Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia ablaze. The Abqaiq facility is the world’s largest processing facility for oil and owned by Saudi Aramco. Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. Saudi Arabia shut down half of its production as a result of the attack. Reports claimed 5 million barrels a day in production had been impacted. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

More Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Satellite images released later in the week showed the extent of the damage to the oil fields. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Despite the Houthi claim, Washington was quick to blame Iran for the attack. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being responsible, saying there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” “Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” Pompeo said. “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy,” he also said. Pompeo called upon the international community to join him in condemning Iran for the attacks. Reported by The Guardian. Read more… 

More Reported by Fox News. Read more…

See also this Times of Israel report. Read more…

Meanwhile the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels warned Saudi Arabia that its oil plants are a target. “We assure the Saudi regime that our long hand can reach any place we want at any time we choose,” military spokesman Brigadier Yahya Saree said in a statement. Iran, for its part, said it was ready to work with the UN and other countries seeking regional peace to defuse the situation in Yemen. Iran’s foreign ministry dismissed U.S. accusations, saying, “Such fruitless and blind accusations and remarks are incomprehensible and meaningless” and that the accusations were meant to “justify” future action against Iran. Reported by i24 News. Read more…

Regarding U.S. allegations, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said that the U.S. had adopted a “‘maximum pressure’ policy against Iran, which, due to its failure, is leaning towards ‘maximum lies.’” Mousavi also dismissed Pompeo’s remarks as “blind and futile comments.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

On the Sunday after the attacks, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The next day, Trump declared that Iran was likely behind the attacks, but that he wanted to be sure and hoped to avoid “war.” Trump also said that “we have a lot of options” and there was no need to rush. “I don’t want war with anybody but we’re prepared more than anybody,” Trump said. Reported by i24 News. Read more…

The Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s government said that the weapons used in the strike were provided by Iran. The coalition also said that it was probing where the weapons were fired from, saying, “The investigation is continuing and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran.” Reported by i24 News. Read more…

The Wall Street Journal, relying on unnamed sources, said that an intelligence report indicated that Iran was behind the attack on the Saudi oil processing facility and oil field. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

As the investigation continued, intelligence sources told Fox News that both drones and cruise missiles were used in the attack. Two clues that point to Iran are drone and missile debris that fell short of their intended target, showing the direction from which the attack came, and Saudi Arabia’s Patriot missile defense system, which was pointed south towards Yemen, and not east, toward Iran. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, responding to accusations Iran was behind the attack, stated that Iran was prepared to engage in ‘all-out-war’ with the United States or Saudi Arabia if one of both those nations retaliated against Iran. Zarif also struck a conciliatory tone, saying Iran didn’t “want war, we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” but that “we won’t blink to defend our territory.” Zarif said the U.S. was “making up” the allegations Iran attacked Saudi Arabia. Reported by i24 News. Read more… 

More Reported by Fox News. Read more…