Pompeo Travels to Saudi Arabia to Discuss Response to Attacks

Tuesday, 17 September, 2019 - 18:00
Asharq Al-Awsat

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss the response to attacks against two Aramco oil facilities, announced US Vice President Mike Pence.

He said Washington was reviewing evidence that suggests Iran was behind the attacks and stands ready to defend its interests and allies in the Middle East.

“We’re evaluating all the evidence. We’re consulting with our allies. And the president will determine the best course of action in the days ahead,” Pence said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

President Donald Trump had warned that the United States was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attacks, but has emphasized he does not want a war.

If Iran conducted Saturday’s attacks to pressure Trump to lighten sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran over its nuclear program, that strategy will fail, Pence said.

The Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen claimed the attack, which was dismissed by the US.

The Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday the Kingdom has the ability to respond to attacks, vowing that it will defend its territory and vital installations.

The Saudi cabinet said the hostile and unprecedented attack are primarily aimed at global energy supplies and are an extension of previous hostile attacks against Aramco installations with Iranian weapons.

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