Saudi Arabia’s oil industry was struck by drones on Saturday, resulting in the “shut down of half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially rolling petroleum prices” reported the Wall Street Journal. The strikes “mark the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s petroleum assets in recent months, as tensions rise among Iran and its proxies like the Houthis, and the U.S. and partners like Saudi Arabia.”

The article also stated that “Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province.” However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unambiguously blamed Iran for the attacks.

Pompeo tweeted:
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. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.

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Saudi Arabia said 5.7 million barrels “a day of oil production were lost, and the supply of ethane and natural gas was also cut by around half, according to preliminary estimates” reports Sky News. President Trump called Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman “following the attack, expressing US support for the kingdom’s security and stability.” Sky News reported that the “crown prince assured Mr. Trump that Saudi Arabia is ‘willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression.”

In response to Pompeo’s accusations, Iran’s foreign minister said “blaming Tehran for Houthi rebel attacks would not end the Yemen conflict.” Additionally, the Times of Israel reported that “Amir Ali Hajizadeh warns that American bases up to 2,000 kilometers away are ‘within the range of our missiles,’ after Washington blamed Tehran for Houthi attack on Saudi Oil. Hajizadeh added, “Iran has always been ready for a ‘full-fledged’ war.”

Despite Iran’s discontent at the finger pointing to them for the attacks, The Wall Street Journal notes it is not an unreasonable assessment:

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In recent months the Houthis, along with Iranian-backed armed groups in Iraq, have intensified a campaign of missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, launching more than a dozen attacks at Saudi airports, a desalination plant and oil infrastructure…

The increasing sophistication of the attacks has shown deepening cooperation between the Houthis and Iran and Tehran has sought ways to apply pressure on their Saudi and American adversaries, according to U.S. officials and analysts. The Iranian government denies controlling the Houthi movement.

Continue Reading: Wall Street Journal