Two Saudi Arabian oil facilities were attacked on Saturday, destroying nearly half of the country’s oil supply and a striking 5% of the world’s supply—the equivalent of about 5 million barrels. While Yemen’s Houthi rebel group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, their insistence that they used drones to set both facilities on fire has been met with doubt from the US government. Donald Trump’s opinion? Blame Iran.
Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to condemn the attacks and to say that “we know the culprit” and that the US is “locked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran as soon as he received “verifications” that they were actually the ones behind the attack.
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Trump failed to elaborate on how exactly he would retaliate, but it would seem he wanted to double down on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s suspicions which were also voiced earlier that same day on the social networking site.
Pompeo accused Iran of the “unprecedented attack,” which came “amid the calls for de-escalation.” His opinion seems to be a popular one in Washington, with a senior US official telling the media that they have proof the attacks were launched from either the north or north-west of Saudi Arabia, both of which point to Iran. It’s also believed that cruise missiles may have been used to start the blazes which destroyed both Saudi facilities.
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— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 14, 2019
In a follow-up Tweet, Pompeo wrote, “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.”
Of course, Trump couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to pat himself on the back in the midst of all the chaos currently happening on the world stage, claiming that he doesn’t really care about the Saudi oil supply either way and that, while he’s willing to help American allies, he doesn’t need Middle Eastern oil.
Because we have done so well with Energy over the last few years (thank you, Mr. President!), we are a net Energy Exporter, & now the Number One Energy Producer in the World. We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019
How true any of the claims made in that tweet are is uncertain—at last check, China was in the number one spot for energy production, though that may have changed—one thing is for sure: things are likely to get much more complicated from here.