Suspicions Rise That Saudi Oil Attack Came From Outside Yemen

WSJ | 9/15/2019 | Dion Nissenbaum
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But officials around the globe investigating the attack questioned the Houthi claims and suggested the strike may have come from Iraq or Iran, to the north, rather than Yemen, to the south. Iran supports a host of Shiite militias in Iraq.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet that “there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen” and accused Tehran of launching “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

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How should the U.S. and Saudi Arabia respond to attacks on the kingdom’s oil facilities? Join the conversation below.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said Saturday that the facilities were hit by a drone attack, an account confirmed by people familiar with the strikes.

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But Persian Gulf officials said experts were examining the possibility that the attackers used cruise missiles, either instead of or along with drones.

A strike on Saudi facilities from Iraq isn’t without recent precedent.

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Earlier this summer, U.S. officials concluded that a May 14 drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s pipeline was launched from Iraq, not Yemen. At the time, Mr. Pompeo urged Iraq’s prime minister to contain the threat posed by Iran-backed forces in the country.

If Tehran carried out the attack directly, it would pose a new national security challenge for President Trump, who could be pressed to respond by striking Iran. In June, Mr. Trump called off a strike on Iran and suggested he is willing to talk.


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