Pompeo meets Saudi leaders, US official says Aramco cruise attacks came from ‘Iranian soil’ “I want to help Riyadh but avoid war; comments Trump


WASHINGTON: The United States has concluded that the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities was launched from Iranian soil and cruise missiles were involved, a US official said. The comments come as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the Kingdom on Tuesday amid heightened tensions after the strikes.

The official, who declined to be identified, said the United States was gathering evidence about the attack to present to the international community, notably European allies, at the UN General Assembly next week. Asked if Washington was certain that the missiles had been launched from Iranian soil, the official answered: “Yes.”

US intelligence services have the capability of determining where the missiles were launched from, the official said, declining, however, to say how many were fired. “I will not get into that kind of details,” the official said.

On Tuesday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the phone, with Johnson assuring the prince of the importance of a “collective global response” to the Aramco attack.

The weekend strikes on Abqaiq — the world’s largest oil processing facility – and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia have roiled global energy markets.

Yemen’s Iran-backed-Houthi militants claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks but Saudi Arabia accused Iran and President Donald Trump also singled out Tehran. “Certainly, it would look to most like it was Iran,” Trump said Monday.

“United States wanted to help its Saudi ally but he wanted to avoid a war”, he said adding; “Washington was “locked and loaded” to hit back.