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While Saudi Arabia is investigating the attacks on its oil facilities, President Donald Trump has said that “it certainly would look like” Iran was the culprit. Yet, he also noted he doesn’t want another war.
Trump’s statement, made to reporters on Monday, is the latest in a series that stop short of outright blaming Iran for the attack, which has already been claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Earlier in the day Trump tweeted that “there is reason to believe that we know the culprit,” before questioning Tehran’s denial of the strike.
Other US officials have been more forceful in ascribing blame. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately called the “unprecedented attack” the work of the Iranians, and hawkish US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) called for retaliatory strikes on Iranian targets.
Amid rising fears of conflict, Trump boasted of the US’ military might, saying that “the United States is more prepared” for a conflict than any country in history, but told reporters that he would “certainly like to avoid” war.
“I don’t want war with anybody,” the President said.
Saturday’s drone attacks targeted two oil refineries in Abqaiq and Khurais in the country’s east. The strikes cut off half of Saudi Aramco’s oil output, or five percent of the world’s supply.
The Saudi government has also stopped short of outright blaming Iran, but a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said that “preliminary results” show Iranian involvement. The Kingdom’s foreign ministry added later on Monday that it will invite international experts, including UN officials, to investigate the attack.
“You won’t be surprised to see who did it,” Trump told reporters on Monday.