Trump “Locked and Loaded” After Saudi Oil Attack

  • Mr. Trump tweeted that "there is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification."
  • Crude oil prices jumped 15 percent at the start of the day, to their highest level in four months.
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeosaid on Saturday that Iran had carried out 100 attacks against Saudi Arabia and there was no indication that yesterday's attack was from Yemen.

Donald Trump, in his first response to Saturday’s attack on Saudi oil facilities that have seriously disrupted oil production, said the United States is ready to take military action if suspicions are confirmed. Houthi Yemeni insurgents fighting the Saudi-led coalition have claimed responsibility for the attack, but the US says the attacks were the work of Iran.

On September 14, two Saudi Aramco plants were attacked by drones. Houthi movement (Houthi rebels in Yemen) have claimed responsibility for the attacks. The attack cut 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of Saudi crude output which is over 5 percent of the world’s supply.

Mr. Trump tweeted that “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!” Crude oil prices jumped 15 percent at the start of the day, to their highest level in four months, following the attack that disrupted more than 2% of world oil supply.

Brent crude futures hit a session high of $71.95 a barrel, while US crude futures surged 15 percent to $63.34 a barrel. However, the price declined after the US President ordered the release of its strategic oil reserves. It is said that Saudi Arabia’s return to normal production may take weeks.

Mr. Trump said in another tweet on Sunday that reports of his readiness to meet “unconditionally” with Iranian officials were not accurate. His administration, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has emphasized a readiness in recent days. Mr. Pompeo said on September 10 that Mr. Trump was ready to meet unconditionally.

Finger Pointing

Mr. Pompeo said on Saturday that Iran had carried out 100 attacks against Saudi Arabia and there was no indication that yesterday’s attack was from Yemen. Iran has denied the allegation and accused the United States of such claims. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government has denied that the attacks were carried out from its territory. Earlier, some Iraqi media reported that Saturday’s attack was carried out from Iraq, which borders Kuwait.

An unnamed US official told Reuters on Sunday that the scale and accuracy of the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities suggest that it was carried out not by the south, but from the northwest. “There’s no doubt that Iran is responsible for this. No matter how you slice it, there’s no escaping it. There’s no other candidate. Evidence points in no other direction than that Iran was responsible for this,” the US official said.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations following an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January 2016 after Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cleric.

US officials told Reuters that Saudi officials said they had seen signs of cruise missiles striking the facility. The Associated Press also quoted senior US government officials who did not disclose that intelligence assessments, including satellite images, confirmed that Iran was responsible for Saturday’s attacks.

According to the report, the US government is releasing satellite images that officials say show at least two locations of ammunition at two Saudi power plants. Officials also say that devices apparently not targeted in the attack have been collected and the US and Saudi intelligence agencies are analyzing them. At the same time, Reuters reports that Kuwait is investigating the sighting of UAVs in the sky.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.


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