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Saudi Arabia, US Hold Military Consultations to Confront Threats

Saudi Arabia, US Hold Military Consultations to Confront Threats

Friday, 20 September, 2019 - 10:30
Mike Pompeo departs from al-Bateen Air Base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AP
Washington, London - Asharq Al-Awsat
The US army has announced consultations with Saudi Arabia on possible means to confront current threats following Saturday’s attack against two oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that his country seeks a peaceful solution for the escalating crisis with Iran.

Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman acknowledged that “as of this time, all indications are that Iran is in some way responsible for the attack on the Saudi refineries,” and added that the US would defer to Saudi Arabia's assessment.

"We're not going to get ahead of them on that," Hoffman said.

Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a press conference that this is an international matter and that the targeting of two civil facilities had a dramatic impact on global markets.

"There will be more sanctions imposed on Iran to prevent its continued support for terrorism to groups such as Hezbollah.”

The unacceptable and unprecedented attack not only threatened Saudi Arabian national security but "also endangered the lives of all the American citizens living and working in Saudi Arabia."

US President Donald Trump insisted Wednesday evening that he has many options to respond to Iran, declaring new sanctions within 48 hours. These sanctions would be added to the already imposed sanctions on Tehran following the US withdrawal in May 2018 from the nuclear deal.

New York Times wrote that the potential response includes a list of goals such as Abadan Refinery, Iran's biggest refinery, and Kharg Island.

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Thursday that any military strike against Iran would bring "all-out war."

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