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Pompeo: It's Iran's Fault

The Secretary of State points a finger after drone strike in Saudi Arabia
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo deliver remarks to members of the media at the Department of State in Washington, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Forget Yemen. This was all Iran. That was the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's take Saturday after drone attacks struck Saudi Arabian oil facilities and choked half the country's crude production, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pompeo tweeted that it was "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." It's unclear why he thought it was Iran and not Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Secretary of State accused Tehran of being "behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia" and said Iran will be "held accountable for its aggression."

The two attacks Saturday on Saudi oil installations occurred about 500 miles from Yemen and highlighted Saudi's weakness to drone strikes—a surprisingly cheap and effective means for Houthis to attack a more powerful enemy, the New York Times reports. The drones may have cost under $15,000 and posed a threat Saudis can't counter, experts say. The Yemen war started in 2014 when Houthi rebels took over the nation's capital and other territory, forcing the government into exile and drawing Arab nations (with some US support) into the conflict against the Houthis. Fallout in Yemen has become the world's most devastating humanitarian crisis. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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