Houthis are pretending, Iran behind the attacks, Arab Coalition spokesperson says

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Riyadh — The Houthi militias are pretending while the attacks came from Iran, claimed Arab Coalition spokesperson on Tuesday, backed by official US reports.

Arab News presented a detailed report on the statements of Coalition Spokesperson Turki al-Maliki’s statements, who said, “The investigation is continuing and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran. He also added that they were now probing “from where they were fired.”

The US government also on Monday produced satellite photos showing what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at the oil processing plant at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field. Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.

“This strike didn’t come from Yemen territory as the Houthi militia are pretending,” Maliki said, adding that an investigation was ongoing into the attacks and their origins.

The Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said international experts, including from the UN, will be invited to participate in the investigation.

Preliminary investigations showed that Iranian weapons were used in the attack, which knocked out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and damaged the world’s biggest crude processing plant, the ministry statement said.

“The kingdom is capable of defending its land and people and responding forcefully to those attacks,” it added.

Al-Maliki called the Houthis “a tool in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the terrorist regime of Iran.”

However, Iran has denied involvement, something US President Donald Trump questioned Sunday in a tweet saying “we’ll see?”

Later on Monday, Trump said it was “looking likely” that Iran was responsible for the attacks.


A satellite image of Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais. (US Government/DigitalGlobe/ via Reuters)

Trump said “we pretty much already know” but that Washington still wanted more proof. “We want to find definitively who did this.”

Trump had raised the possibility of military retaliation after the strikes on Sunday, saying Washington was “locked and loaded” to respond.

The US has offered a firm response in support of its ally, and is considering increasing its intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia as a result of the attack, Reuters reported.

Also on Monday, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that he had spoken over the weekend with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and an Iraqi defense official about the recent attack on the oil facilities.

Iraq said the attacks were not launched from its territory and on Sunday Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told him that Washington possesses information that backs up the Iraqi government’s denial.

Condemnation of the attacks continued from both within Saudi Arabia and from around the world.

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council called Tuesday for concerted efforts to hold those behind the attacks accountable.

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