US on Saturday blamed Iran for drone attacks against Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure. The attacks, attributed to Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, sparked huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies.
Drones attacked the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and an oilfield operated by Saudi Aramco on Saturday, sparking a huge fire at a processor crucial to global energy supplies. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, though Yemen's Houthi rebels previously launched drone assaults deep inside of the kingdom.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while blaming Iran said “there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen” and points the finger at Tehran.
"Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply," he added.
Pompeo says the US calls on all nations to “condemn Iran’s attacks.”
He adds, “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
The plant has been targeted in the past by militants. Al-Qaida-claimed suicide bombers tried but failed to attack the oil complex in February 2006.
There was no immediate impact on global oil prices as markets were closed for the weekend across the world. Benchmark Brent crude had been trading at just above USD 60 a barrel.
A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels since March 2015. The Iranian-backed Houthis hold Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and other territory in the Arab world's poorest country.
The war has become the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The violence has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine and killed more than 90,000 people since 2015, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, which tracks the conflict.