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Saudis recover 'Iranian' drones and missiles

September 18, 2019

Saudi Arabia has displayed recovered evidence from the oil attack that it says points to Iran. It showed the wreckage of what it said were cruise missiles and drones.

The Saudi military shows drones and other weapons, which according to the Saudi military spokesman originate from Iran.
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Bildfunk/A. Nabil

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday displayed the burned remnants of what it said were cruise missiles and drones used in a major attack against oil infrastructure earlier this month.

It said a total of 25 drones and missiles were fired at two oil plants. Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said the recovered weapons included Iranian Delta Wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and "Ya Ali" cruise missiles.

"The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran," he told a news conference. "The evidence ... that you have seen in front of you makes this undeniable."

Read more: Shock and awe, but few surprises as oil prices spike

The attack, which severely reduced Saudi Arabia's oil output, was claimed by the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, an Iranian-backed force that is battling a Saudi-backed coalition for control of the country.

Saudi defense ministry spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malik displays remains of the missiles which Saudi government says were used to attack an Aramco oil facility
The Saudis claim they identified 25 drones and cruise missilesImage: Reuters/H. I. Mohammed

Saudi Arabia's Malki said the attack could not have originated in Yemen, saying the Houthi movement was "covering up" for Iran.

A spokesman for the Iranian president said the Saudis were misguided in their claims.

"The press conference proved that Saudi Arabia knows nothing about where the missiles and drones were made or launched from and failed to explain why the country's defense system failed to intercept them," Hesameddin Ashena said on Twitter.

Global test

The de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said the attack was a "real test" of global will, state media reported on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with the Saudis later on Wednesday, after US President Donald Trump vowed further sanctions against Iran.

The US supports Saudi Arabia in its claims that the attacks came from Iran or its proxies. After Saudi Arabia unveiled its findings, Pompeo stepped up these assertions. "This was an Iranian attack," he told reporters on his plane before landing in the western city of Jeddah, calling it "an act of war."

aw/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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