Attack on oil refinery prompts renewed fears of conflict between U.S. and Iran
Drones and targeted missiles hit a massive Saudi oil refinery this weekend, sending oil prices up and instigating strong language from the Saudis, Iran and the U.S. While sources agree that Iran manufactured the missiles and drones, there is disagreement over who actually launched the attack. The Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility, though the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are pointing the finger at Iran.
The Houthi’s are an Iranian-backed rebel group and proxy force in the ongoing Yemeni civil war, in which Saudi Arabia is a primary belligerent. While Houthi rebels have launched previous attacks on the Saudis, the technology used in this attack appears to be beyond their capabilities.
U.S. President Donald Trump has promised the nation is “locked and loaded depending on verification” in response. However, Fox News cites White House sources as confirming the president is looking to avoid war. Watchdogs are concerned this event may be the final straw in the beginning of a U.S.-led conflict with Iran.
With America relying more and more on domestic oil production and a shift toward renewable energy resources, some critics are arguing this is no longer a U.S. problem. However, that sentiment has not been reflected by U.S. politicians.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) reflected the bipartisan sentiment that an attack of this scale on Saudi Arabia would warrant a strong response. Sen. Coons was quick to cite ongoing tensions with the Saudi’s over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but reflected a belief that the ally remained critical.
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