Saudi Arabia presents evidence of attacks on oil fields, points to Iran

Saudi Arabia Iran attack Blame war missile
Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki displays what he describes as an Iranian cruise missile and drones used in an attack this weekend that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, during a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday. AP/PTI

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday (Septemebr 18) presented evidence of recent attacks on its oil facilities and claimed that these proved Iranian involvement in the attacks, according to reports.

The Arab kingdom’s defence ministry displayed wreckage of drones and cruise missiles and said 18 drones and seven cruise missiles were fired at the Abqaiq and Khurais oilfields, of which three had fallen short of target.

Also read: Mix of economics, politics leading to new high in crude prices

Showing a video of an attack, spokesman Turki al-Malki said the missiles had come from the north, which ruled out Yemen as the source of the attacks, and added that these were “unquestionably sponsored by Iran”, the Al Jazeera reported.

Iran has denied any involvement and warned it would retaliate against any military response, according to a BBC report.

Iran has stood by its line that the Houthi rebels in Yemen were responsible. President Hassan Rouhani too had blamed them, saying they carried out the strike as a “warning” about a possible wider war in response to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, the Al Jazeera report said.

Also read: 50% of Saudi oil output hit after terror attacks on Aramco facilities

The BBC report also quoted Maliki as saying that the launch points would be revealed after they were identified.

US President Donald Trump has called for substantial increase in US sanctions on Iran following the attacks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to land in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to meet the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia temporarily halted production at two Aramco oil facilities that were attacked allegedly by Yemeni rebels, interrupting about half of the company’s total output.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said work was underway to restore production and a progress update would be provided in the next two days.

Crude prices witnessed its biggest intra-day jump to over $71 per barrel on Monday (September 16) after the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant sparked a major fire on Saturday (September 14).

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