US condemns Saudi oil plants attacks


WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump on Saturday condemned drone attacks at two Saudi Aramco oil facilities that reportedly disrupted production and marked a new escalation in regional tensions with Iran.

“The United States strongly condemns today’s attack on critical energy infrastructure. Violent actions against civilian areas and infrastructure vital to the global economy only deepen conflict and mistrust,” the White House said in a statement following a phone call between Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump offered Prince Mohammed “his support for Saudi Arabia’s self-defense,” the White House said, following an earlier statement from Riyadh saying the crown prince told Trump the kingdom was “”willing and able” to respond to the attacks blamed on Yemeni rebels.

“The United States Government is monitoring the situation and remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well supplied,” the US statement said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday also condemned Iran following the drone attacks which had been blamed on Yemeni rebels.

The top US diplomat did not specifically name Tehran as the perpetrator of the attacks that led to fires at two key Saudi Aramco facilities, but said, “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

“There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” Pompeo said on Twitter.

“We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”

Meanwhile, Salman told Trump Saturday the kingdom was “willing and able” to respond to the latest attacks by Yemeni rebels on its oil facilities, state media reported.

“The kingdom is willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression,” Salman told Trump during a phone call, referring to Yemen’s Huthi rebels, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

p: wjg