While speaking to reporters in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the recent strikes on Saudi oil facilities an “act of war” by the Iranian government. Pompeo’s comments come just days after Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drones at a Saudi oil processing facility, causing an outbreak of fires at the oilfield.
Although the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have since claimed responsibility for the attack, Pompeo pushed back against these claims, calling them fraudulent and insisting that Tehran ordered the attacks on the Kingdom’s oil facility.
According to the Secretary, the weapons used in the attacks are inconsistent with those used in prior Houthi strikes, saying, “As for how we know, the equipment used is unknown to be in the Houthi arsenal. These line attack cruise missiles we have never seen there and we think we’ve seen most everything. So the intelligence community has high confidence that these were not weapons that would have been in the possession of the Houthis.”
Pompeo then went on to further discredit Houthi claims of responsibility by referring to the Yemeni rebels as notorious liars, urging journalists not to take them at their word.
“You ought not report them as if these truth-tellers, as if these are people who aren’t completely under the boot of the Iranians and who would not, at the direction of the Iranians, lay claim to attacks that they did not engage in. Which clearly was the case here,” he said, suggesting that perhaps both the Houthis and Tehran are working together.