Attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities Saturday destroys more than five percent of global oil supply

Attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities Saturday destroyed more than five percent of the global oil supply, and halted the export of more than half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil outputs. According to NBC News, the attack caused the largest intraday percentage jump of Brent crude futures since the Gulf War in 1991, raising the futures to a session high $71.95 per barrel at opening Monday morning. U.S. crude futures also rose to a session high of $63.34 per barrel at opening, raising both benchmarks to the highest levels since May of this year. Iranian backed Yemeni Houthi rebels took responsibility for the attacks, but it remains unclear if there is evidence to support these claims. ~

According to CNN, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated Sunday that there is “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” A senior administration official backed up Pompeo’s claim, pointing to evidence such as satellite imagery that points to the attacks originating from the Northwest, suggesting that culprit more likely came from countries such as Iraq or Iran rather  than Yemen. Ret. Col. Cedric Leighton, an intelligence expert, said that the satellite images could provide thorough evidence for the Trump Administration on who carried out the oil facility attacks. Leighton told CNN Sunday that “This is the handiwork of a sophisticated (most likely State) actor. The precise nature of the intelligence used to conduct targeting, the mission planning that went into this to avoid radar detection, as well as the selection of the targets shows a robust capability that would most likely be the work of a government or government-sponsored group.” ~

Although this evidence is not definitive, President Trump stated Sunday evening that the whitehouse “has reason to believe that they know” who can be held responsible for the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. The President did not specifically name Iran in his tweets, but the pre-existing tensions between the United States and Iran combined with the possibility of Iran being held responsible for the attacks on oil facilities could have major implications on the near future of geo-political relations. ~

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