Americas, Middle East

US blames Iran for attacking Saudi oil facilities

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, drone strikes mark unprecedented attacks on world’s energy supply

Gözde Bayar   | 15.09.2019
US blames Iran for attacking Saudi oil facilities

ANKARA 

The U.S. has blamed Iran for coordinating drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities.

The U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described drone strikes, marking an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia, while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack, on the world’s energy supply,” said Pompeo on Twitter.

Pompeo also said that there was no evidence to suggest that the attacks came from war-ravaged Yemen.

He further said the U.S. will work with allies “to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.” 

He added that the strikes showed Iran was not serious about diplomacy.

On Saturday, the official Saudi Press Agency reported the blazes at the Abqaiq and Khurais facilities. Abqaiq is home to the state-owned, Saudi Aramco’s largest oil processing plant.

On early Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced halting oil production temporarily from these oil facilities, following drone attacks.

Although no group has yet, specifically claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, fighting against the Saudi-led coalition, said they have carried out similar attacks in the past. 

The Iran-backed Houthis, whose medium and long-range ballistic missiles are usually intercepted and neutralized by the Saudi air defense system, have targeted certain strategic locations of Saudi Arabia with armed drones.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains to support the country’s pro-Saudi government.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the raging conflict since 2016, according to the UN estimates.

In addition, Saudi Arabia's airstrikes seeking to support the government have led to the death of scores of civilians in the war-ravaged country since 2015.

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