US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Tehran of attacking Saudi Arabia’s vast oil fields, sparking fears of war between Iran and America.
According to reports, Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, causing massive fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies.
Pompeo urged the international community “to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks”.
“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”, Pompeo claimed Saturday.
Sputniknews.com reports: Tehran has yet to comment on the accusations.
Earlier on Saturday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told US President Donald Trump in a phone call that “The kingdom is willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression”, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Trump, for his part, affirmed that Washington is allied with Riyadh and supports the kingdom, stressing what he referred to as the negative impact of attacks on the US and the global economy, according to SPA.
Fires hit the Abqaiq oil refinery, a gated production facility and living community in the nation’s Eastern Province, as well as an oil-processing facility near the Khurais oil field early on Saturday, located 100 miles east of Riyadh, according to SPA.
The armed Yemeni Houthi opposition movement claimed responsibility for the attacks.
According to a statement from the Houthi armed forces, broadcast by Almasirah TV channel, the group attacked the Abqaiq and Khurais oil refineries with 10 drones, the biggest Houthi operation within Saudi territory to date, according to a spokesperson.
The attacks will continue until Saudi Arabia stops conducting military operations in Yemen, according to the Houthi statement.
Earlier, Houthi armed forces carried out a drone attack on the Shaybah oil field and refinery in Saudi Arabia, prompting a counter-attack by the Saudis on targets in northern Yemen.
Yemen has since 2015 been engulfed in a war between government forces led by exiled President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi and the rebel Houthi movement.
A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015.