Saudi Arabia’s defence ministry on Wednesday displayed what it claimed as drones and cruise missiles used by Iran in attacks on two state-run oil facilities.
Ministry spokesman Col Turki Al-Maliki said a total of 25 drones and missiles including Iranian Delta Wing unmanned aerial vehicles and Ya Ali cruise missiles were used in the raids by suspected Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
While the ministry makes this claim, Saudi investigators are clueless about the location from where drones and missiles were launched. All they say is Yemen is not the launch location and the attacks came from the north.
Yemen’s Houthi militants have already claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attacks on Aramco’s Khurais oil field and Abqaiq processing plant on Saturday.
Previously, the Houthis had launched drone attacks on provincial airports mostly unsuccessfully after the Saudi-led Coalition kept bombing rebel positions inflicting heavy casualties.
By displaying the debris of the drones and missiles, Riyadh wants to prove their origin and show the world Iran attacked the oil facilities.
But Iran has been supplying drones and missiles to Houthi rebels who may have used them in the attacks.
Saudi Arabia believes Houthis do not have the skills to launch attacks with such clinical precision and the rebel may have sought the help of Iranian forces to launch the coordinated attack. But truth cannot be based on assumptions.
Saudi Arabia has set a certain narrative for the US to launch an attack on Iran’s installations. However, President Donald Trump is not 100% sure of Iran’s role in the attacks.
Hence, instead of ordering airstrikes, he has instructed officials to impose more sanctions on Iran.
In the meantime, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, above, to discuss the attacks and potential consequences.