22 Sep 2019

Saudis vow to respond to drone attacks on oil sites

6:20 am on 22 September 2019

Saudi Arabia says it will respond with "necessary measures" to attacks on two oil facilities as it reiterated the accusation that Iran was behind them.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL 16: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir attend during the 5th Ministerial Session

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir says Saudi Arabia will release the findings of an inquiry into attacks on its oil facilities. Photo: AFP

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said the weapons used were Iranian and vowed to release the full findings of the investigation.

Iran denies involvement in the attacks.

Earlier, a senior Iranian military official said Iran was ready to destroy any aggressor after the United States announced it was sending troops to Saudi Arabia.

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have said they were responsible for the drone and missile strikes on 14 September that affected the global oil supply.

Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated since US President Donald Trump abandoned a deal limiting Iran's nuclear activities last year and reinstated sanctions.

Saudi Arabia: 'Take a stand'

Speaking to reporters in Riyadh, Mr Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was in consultation with its allies and would take necessary and suitable measures after its investigation was complete, without giving details of possible actions.

He repeated that the strikes targeting the Abqaiq oil facility and the Khurais oil field had come from the north and not from Yemen but did not give a specific location, and urged the international community to take a stand.

"The kingdom calls upon the international community to assume its responsibility in condemning those that stand behind this act, and to take a firm and clear position against this reckless behaviour that threatens the global economy," he said.

Employees of Aramco oil company work in Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20, 2019.

Employees of Aramco oil company work on repairs at the Abqaiq oil processing plant. Photo: AFP

The Saudi defence ministry showed off on Wednesday what it said were the remains of drones and cruise missiles proving Iranian involvement.

The US has also accused Iran of being behind the attacks, and unnamed senior officials have told US media that the evidence suggests the strikes originated in the south of Iran.

On Friday, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said the US would send a yet-to-be-decided number of troops to Saudi Arabia to boost the country's air and missile defences.

President Trump then announced new sanctions against Iran, focusing on the country's central bank and its sovereign wealth fund, while signalling that he wanted to avoid military conflict.

Iran promises to 'pursue any aggressor'

Earlier, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard in Iran, Major General Hossein Salami, warned that the country's "readiness to respond to any aggression is definitive".

"Be careful, a limited aggression won't remain limited. We'll pursue any aggressor," he said at the opening of an exhibition of captured drones in the capital, Tehran. "We'll continue until the full destruction of any aggressor."

Speaking at the same event, the head of the Guards' aerospace branch, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, said the US ought to learn from its past failures and that any attack on Iran would receive "a crushing response".

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are an elite branch of Iran's military and have been designated a terrorist organisation by the US.


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