RIAD: The weapons used to attack Saudi oil facilities were Iranian-made, the Riyadh-led coalition said on Monday, which raised fears of regional conflict after the United States hinted at a military response to the assault.
The weekend's attacks on Abqaiq, the world's largest oil processing facility, and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia have shaken world energy markets with prices that rose to record levels on Monday.
Yemen's Houthi rebels, aligned with Iran, claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Washington directly blamed Iran, and President Donald Trump said the United States is "locked and charged" to respond.
Saudi Arabia's energy infrastructure has been previously affected, but this attack was of a different order, abruptly halting 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) or about six percent of the world's oil supply.
The Saudi-led coalition, which is stuck in a five-year war in neighboring Yemen, reiterated the assessment that the Houthis were not behind it, pointing a finger at Iran for providing the weapons.
Russia urged "all countries to avoid hasty steps or conclusions that may exacerbate the situation," while the European Union emphasized that all parties must show "maximum moderation."
China also asked the United States and Iran to "exercise restraint … in the absence of a conclusive investigation or verdict." "Everything indicates that the weapons used in both attacks come from Iran," coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki told reporters. Riyadh, adding that they were now probing "from where they were fired."
"This attack did not come from Yemen territory since the Houthi militia is faking it," Maliki said, adding that an investigation had been opened.
He called the Houthis "a tool in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the terrorist regime of Iran."
The rebels said they fired 10 drones at Saudi infrastructure, but the New York Times reported that US authorities had satellite images that showed that the attacks, possibly with drones and cruise missiles, had come from the north or northwest.
That indicated that they came from the northern Persian Gulf, Iran or Iraq, instead of Yemen.
Posted on Dawn, September 17, 2019