Saudi Arabia invites UN experts to investigate attack

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Tensions in the Middle East have escalated following drone attacks on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The pre-dawn strikes on Saturday knocked out more than half of crude output from the world’s top exporter – five percent of the global oil supply – and cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been locked in a war with a Saudi-UAE-led coalition since 2015, claimed responsibility for the attacks, warning Saudi Arabia that their targets “will keep expanding”.

But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiftly accused Iran of being behind the assault, without providing any evidence. The claim was rejected by Tehran which said the allegations were meant to justify actions against it.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has promised to “confront and deal with this terrorist aggression”, while US President Donald Trump hinted at possible military action after Riyadh concluded its investigation into the attacks.

Saudi Arabia said its initial investigations indicate that Iranian weapons were used in the attacks on its key oil installations and said it would” invite United Nations and international experts to view the situation on the ground and to participate in the investigations.”

“The kingdom will take the appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability,” a statement from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Saudi Arabia “affirms that it has the capability and resolve to defend its land and people, and to forcefully respond to these aggressions,” the statement added, calling the attack “an unprecedented act of aggression and sabotage” and an “egregious crime which threatens international peace and security.”

Al jezeera

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