Attack on Saudi oil sites raises risks amid US-Iran tension
Added 09-15-19 01:04:02pm EST - “A weekend drone attack on Saudi Arabia that cut into global energy supplies and halved the kingdom's oil production threatened Sunday to fuel a regional crisis, as Iran denied U.S. allegations it launched the assault and tensions…” - News.yahoo.com
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A weekend drone attack on Saudi Arabia that cut into global energy supplies and halved the kingdom's oil production threatened Sunday to fuel a regional crisis, as Iran denied U.S. allegations it launched the assault and tensions remained high over Tehran's collapsing nuclear deal.
Iran called the U.S. claims "maximum lies," while a commander in its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard reiterated its forces could strike U.S. military bases across the Mideast with their arsenal of ballistic missiles. A prominent U.S. senator suggested striking Iranian oil refineries in response to the assault, claimed by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, on Saudi Arabia's largest oil processing facility.
"Because of the tension and sensitive situation, our region is like a powder keg," warned Guard Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh. "When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding."
Actions on any side could break into the open a twilight war that's been raging just below the surface of the wider Persian Gulf in recent months. Already, there have been mysterious attacks on oil tankers that America blames on Tehran, at least one suspected Israeli strike on Shiite forces in Iraq, and Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone.
The attack Saturday on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels of the kingdom's crude oil production per day, equivalent to more than 5% of the world's daily supply. It remains unclear how King Salman and his assertive son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will respond to an attack targeting the heart of the Saudi oil industry.
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