In the last 18-24 hours or so, the US and Saudi position on Saturday's attack on the Saudi oilfields of Abqaiq has gone from "Yemeni Houthi rebels made a successful drone attack" to "It was Iranian cruise missiles the whole time" and the Trump regime is all but promising a new shooting war in the Middle East against Iran.
Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.
It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge of high tensions.
President Donald Trump warned the U.S. was "locked and loaded" to respond to the attack on Sunday, waiting for verification of who was responsible and for word from Saudi Arabia on how to proceed.
The Trump administration, in particular Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has blamed Iran for the attack since Saturday, but so far, there's been no public accusation that Iran launched missiles.
The Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed responsibility for the assault, which hit one of the world's largest oil processing facilities, hundreds of miles from the Yemen-Saudi border, and sharply impacted global oil supplies.
But a senior U.S. official told ABC News Saturday that was false: "It was Iran. The Houthis are claiming credit for something they did not do."
Pompeo tweeted that there was "no evidence the attacks came from Yemen."
The Saudis are going along with this too.
The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said that an investigation into Saturday’s strikes, which had been claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, was still going on to determine the launch location.
“The preliminary results show that the weapons are Iranian and we are currently working to determine the location ... The terrorist attack did not originate from Yemen as the Houthi militia claimed,” Malki told a press conference in Riyadh.
He said authorities would reveal the location from where drones were launched at a future press briefing.
Iran has dismissed as “unacceptable” U.S. accusations that Tehran was responsible for the assault on Saudi oil facilities that cut almost half of the kingdom’s production, or 5% of global oil supply.
Malki said the Gulf Arab state, the world’s top oil exporter, was capable of protecting vital energy and economic sites. “This cowardly act largely targets the global economy and not Saudi Arabia.”
Cool, so we just had our selling point for another two decades of war in the Middle East. The drums of war are the loudest they've been since 2002. The governments of Israel, the US, and Saudi Arabia all desperately want a war with Iran to maintain their current political and economic power.
This is bad, folks. Real bad.