Trump Ominously Tweets US Is Ready to Strike Saudi Oil Facility Attackers
In response to an attack on Saudi oil facilities, President Trump has announced that the U.S. is locked and loaded to retaliate.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that his country is ready to strike back at whoever was behind the recent attacks that targeted Saudi oil facilities.
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
The president further tweeted, “Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied.”
“I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”
Oil prices recorded a 15% increase on Sunday as tension in the Middle East mounted.
Despite claims of responsibility by the Yemeni Houthi rebel group for recent aerial attacks on the world’s largest oil facilities of Saudi Arabia, a senior U.S. official told reporters on Sunday that there is evidence that Iran is instead behind the attacks, though no evidence was presented.
Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also accused Iran of involvement in the devastating attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. U.S.-provided satellite images showed locations of the launching sites, in both Iran and Iraq.
Iran Denies Accusations
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted on Sunday, saying, “Having failed at max pressure, Sec Pompeo’s turning to max deceit.”
The weekend’s attacks on Saudi Arabia severely hit an oil facility in Abqaiq, the location of the world’s largest oil processing plant, owned by both the Saudi state-run company Aramco and Khurais oil field.
Saudi oil officials estimated that at least 6 million barrels of oil were damaged during the recent attacks, said to be the largest since Houthi rebels in Yemen began attacking Saudi Arabian areas.
Over the past several months, Houthi rebels, believed to be backed by Iran, have stepped up attacks against the Saudi Arabian-led military coalition for Yemen and repeatedly targeted airports in Saudi Arabia.
Fighting in Yemen began five years ago when Houthi rebels took control of large parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa in late 2014. Mass protests and the Houthi rebel group forced the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi from power in 2015. Hadi is now reportedly residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led military coalition has been at war with the Houthi rebels ever since March 2015.
The civil war has its roots in the 2011 Arab Spring that led to a 2011 Yemen uprising that eventually forced the end of the 32-year-long regime of Yemen’s late president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The uprising grew into a military conflict in 2014 and has since caused the death of thousands of people and the displacement of hundreds of thousands more.
United Nations’ data suggests that 22 million residents, constituting 75% of Yemen’s population, are in need of humanitarian assistance as northern and southern parts of the country are still subject to frequent violence.