Cruise missiles were used in Saturday’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities, and the attack came from Iran, a US official cited by AFP has claimed.
The official, who declined to be named, told the news agency that the US was now gathering evidence about the attack to present at the UN General Assembly next week.
Asked if the US was certain that the cruise missiles was launched from Iranian soil, the official curtly answered “Yes.”
Asked how many missiles were fired, the official declined to answer. “I will not get into that kind of details,” the official said.
Earlier, anonymous officials told the Wall Street Journal that US intelligence agencies had handed their Saudi counterparts a secret report implicating Iran in the attacks. According to the officials, the attacks involved some 20 drones and at least a dozen missiles.
The US began claiming that Iran was responsible for the oil facility attacks just hours after they occurred, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on the international community to “publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks” on “the world’s energy supply.” President Trump later joined Pompeo in accusing Iran, warning that the US was “locked and loaded” to respond, but “waiting to hear from the Kingdom” on the culprit and “under what terms we would proceed!”
Iran’s foreign ministry said the US’s allegations were “unacceptable and entirely baseless.” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif charged Washington with switching from a strategy of “maximum pressure” to one of “maximum deceit” with its latest claims. The US, he said, won’t succeed in ending the disastrous war in Yemen by “blaming Iran” for everything.
Yemen’s Houthi militia, who claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday and repeated their claims on Monday, have accused Riyadh of “cowardice” with its attempt to “exonerate Yemen from conducting these strikes” while “accusing others of doing them.” The militia said they carried out the attacks on the facilities using 10 kamikaze drones.
On Monday evening, a spokesman from the Saudi-led military coalition said preliminary findings had led Riyadh to conclude that Saturday’s attacks used Iranian-made weapons, and were not launched from Yemen.