Drone attack on Saudi oil units - MRPL unaffected for present

Galtero Lara
Setiembre 17, 2019

But he added that USA oil was a good investment, given that a terrorist attack on American facilities were "much less likely" for the market.

USA allies in Europe oppose Trump's "maximum pressure" strategy, arguing that it provides no clear mechanism to resolve issues, creating a risk the enemies could stumble into war.

But hours before Trump's tweet, senior United States officials said satellite imagery and other intelligence showed the strike was inconsistent with one launched from Yemen.

But military officials are also privately urging caution, seeking to defuse tensions they believe could push the United States into a possibly bloody conflict with Iran at a time when the Pentagon is seeking to wind down insurgent wars in the Middle East and reorient toward competition with China.

He hypothesised about a joint Houthi-Iran combined drone and missile assault launched from Yemen.

Other military analysts have speculated about launch sites by Iran-linked militias in Iraq.

Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated since Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord a year ago and reimposed sanctions over Tehran's nuclear and ballistic programs.

Washington called the assault, which sparked huge fires in the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, an "unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply".

U.S. President Donald Trump also authorized the release of oil from the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while the International Energy Agency, which helps coordinate industrialized countries' emergency fuel stockpiles, said it was monitoring the situation.

"This was not just a proxy group bombing a pipeline that could be quickly repaired, this was a very central piece of Saudi infrastructure", Woertz told Al Jazeera. But this was such an extraordinary escalation that Trump would have little choice but to retaliate. "What is Iran's calculation here, and do they have a Plan B?"

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The attacks come as Saudi Arabia prepares to sell stock in its state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, in what's predicted to be the largest IPO in history.

"More often than not, the legal argument is used as cover for a political decision about whether to go to war or not", he said. "Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real, like attacking their refineries, which will break the regime's back", Graham wrote.

But the New York Times reported that U.S. officials had satellite images showing the attacks, possibly with drones and cruise missiles, had come from the north or northwest.

"It is still hard to assess the exact scale of the damage caused by the drone attacks to Saudi infrastructure in the Eastern province, but recent official statements lean toward a longer outage than initially anticipated", Citigroup Inc. analysts Ed Morse and Francesco Martoccia said in a report. "When you attack Saudi Arabia, you're not helping your case much", she added. However, American officials claim Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival, is to blame.

"We're at a risky inflection point".

Iran-supported Houthi rebels - who are fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen - claimed the strikes.

"I don't want to have war with anybody" but our military is prepared, Trump said at the White House on Monday.

"We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks".

"Locked and loaded to do what?" asked Bronk.

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