Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the two oil refinery attacks by armed drones that occurred in Saudi Arabia were “an Iranian attack” that amounts to “an act of war.” The world’s largest oil refinery, the Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq refinery, an oil processing facility was targeted on Sept. 14 along with the Khurais oil field, also operated by Aramco.
Pompeo, who arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Sept. 18, said, “We were blessed that there were no Americans killed in this attack, but any time you have an act of war of this nature, there’s always risk that that could happen,” reports The Hill.
Pompeo told reporters. “This is an attack of a scale we’ve just not seen before.”Houthis rebels from Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack on the world’s most abundant oil supply. However, according to spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki from the Saudi Arabia ministry, the attacks were not launched from Yemen. Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
Debris from the drone attacks presented at the press briefing included the wing of an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and al-Malki said: “Data recovered from the computers [on the UAV] shows it’s Iranian.” The defense ministry said the 18 drones and seven cruise missiles came from a direction that rules out any Yemen involvement and was “unquestionably sponsored by Iran.”
They are still “working to know exactly the launch point,” will announce their findings when that is determined. He said, “Despite Iran’s best efforts to make it appear so, their collaboration with their proxy in the region to create this false narrative is clear.”
Col. Malki called the attacks “an assault on the international community. … Those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.”
President Trump said there are “many options,” to consider as a response, “There is the ultimate option, and there are options a lot less than that,” he said. “And we’ll see. We are in a very powerful position,” reported the BBC. On Wednesday, Sept.18, the president instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “substantially increase” U.S. sanctions against Iran. “I don’t want war with anybody. I’m somebody that would like not to have war,” Trump said Monday, while also cautioning that the United States is “prepared more than anybody” to retaliate.