REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
- The US and Saudi Arabia are searching for a "smoking gun" among the wreckage of weapons that they hope will definitively link Iran to the weapons used in the attack last weekend on Saudi oil facilities, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
- Inspectors and weapons experts are reportedly looking over recovered GPS technology with the goal of obtaining critical information on the flight paths and origins of the drones and missiles used to carry out the attacks.
- The US has publicly blamed Iran, and Saudi Arabia has said the attacks were "unquestionably sponsored by Iran." More may be needed, however, to build an international coalition against Iran, something that has been a US priority for months now.
- Iran has denied being involved in the drone and cruise missile attacks that temporarily crippled Saudi oil production and rocked oil markets.
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The US and Saudi Arabia are searching through the wreckage of weapon systems used in last weekend's attacks on Saudi oil facilities to find a "smoking gun" definitively tying Iran to the attacks, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Inspectors and weapons experts are reportedly looking over recovered GPS technology with the goal of collecting information on the origins and flight paths for the drones and missiles used to carry out the attacks that rocked oil markets by temporarily crippling Saudi oil production.
In the aftermath of the attacks on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant and Khurais oil field, the US was quick to blame Iran despite claims of responsibility by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on the day of the attacks that Iran had "launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply." Several days later, he characterized the attacks as "an Iranian attack" and an "act of war."
President Donald Trump and the Department of Defense have said the strikes on the Saudi energy infrastructure appeared to have been carried out or orchestrated by Iran.
The US position, as leaks to the media by US officials indicate, is that the strikes were launched from inside Iran, though more substantial evidence is needed.
REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's defense ministry said the attacks were "unquestionably sponsored by Iran."
The US has put additional sanctions on Iran, and there are plans in place to send additional troops to the Middle East to offer improved security to US allies and partners. A tougher response is on hold as the US works to build an international coalition against Iran, an effort that has at times struggled as other countries request additional evidence of Iranian aggression.
Iran has denied any and all involvement in the attacks on Saudi Arabia, just as the country denied involvement in the attacks on commercial shipping vessels this past summer.
Iran has warned that if the US or its regional partners retaliate against Iran with force, it will mean "all-out war."
Speaking at a military parade Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Western forces to leave the Persian Gulf as a top general warned that Iran "won't stop until the destruction of any aggressor."