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The US is blaming Iran for its coordinated drone strikes on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil production fields. This attack shut almost half of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production on Saturday potentially shaking oil prices and showing the strength of Iran’s proxies. The attack damaged the source of approximately 8 million barrels of crude oil which is about 10% of the daily production of crude oil in the world.

Attacks did not originate from Yemen

Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack indicating that they sent ten drones to attack major facilities in the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has however claimed that the strikes did not come from Yemen as claimed by the rebels. Satellite photographs indicated that there were 17 points of impact at facilities and the strikes originated from the north and North West. This is consistent with an attack from the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Iran instead of Yemen as claimed.

Officials indicate that the attack might have involved cruise and drone missiles. This indicates superiority and precision that is beyond the ability of Houthi rebels. In a tweet, President Trump said that they already know the perpetrator and they are waiting for verification from Saudi Arabia on how to proceed.

The US considering more sanctions on Iran

The attacks thrust the US foreign policy into a crosswind at a time when Trump’s national security team is not reading from the same page. With Iran suspected to have carried the attacks, Trump now faces new questions regarding his Iran strategy. The US does not have many options left to exert more sanctions targeting Iran’s economy. Trump has imposed stringent sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, and event refused to extend oil waivers. The US has threatened secondary sanctions on entities failing to conform.

The US has backed the Saudi Arabia leaders in the war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Trump has also promised military threats against Iran as he seeks to leash its nuclear programs. He has even labeled the revolutionary guard of Iran as a terrorist group.