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Rebecca Grant: After Saudi Arabia is attacked, will US military attack Iran? Here are options

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086400169001_6086400404001-vs Rebecca Grant: After Saudi Arabia is attacked, will US military attack Iran? Here are options Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0a3d3b15-5ea1-53e0-bf96-e95d506410bf

Only the Iranians, the world’s worst diplomats, would mastermind a significant attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities just days before the United Nations General Assembly opens.

Yet that’s what all signs point too. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted after the Saturday attack that “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

Iran has the technology to mount such an attack. It has gotten help from Russia and China over the years. And we’ve seen Iran do things like this before.

BEHNAM BEN TALEBLU: ATTACK ON SAUDI OIL FACILITY SHOWS TRUMP WAS RIGHT TO PULL OUT OF IRAN NUKE DEAL

The attack Saturday on the Saudi oil facilities was the second recent strike against the Saudi Aramco oil company. On Aug. 17, 20 drones hit the Shaybah liquid natural gas facility in Saudi Arabia, causing a small fire.

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On Aug. 25, Israel launched a preemptive strike against an Iranian drone base in Syria.

Back in 2017, American F-15 pilots shot down Iranian drones over Syria when the drones tried to bomb U.S. forces working with allies on the ground.

Whatever Iran is up to, the Saudi Aramco strike was a significant escalation. Seventeen points of impact were precisely targeted, U.S. officials said. This surveillance and planning required for this strike were evidence of a whole new level of sophistication.

Oil storage facilities are soft targets. Hit them, spill some fuel, and the result is a really big fire.

Saudi Aramco has been in the oil business for a long time, so pre-surveying the site for target coordinates would not be hard. Still, the accuracy of the strikes suggests advanced help. Russia and China could easily have provided know-how at some point. Or Iran may have used unmanned drones to determine the coordinates.

The Saudi Aramco strike shows Iran can hit other targets throughout the region – directly or by proxy. The Dubai airport, the new nuclear plant under construction in the United Arab Emirates and other Saudi oil infrastructure are all vulnerable to Iran’s drones and cruise missiles.

Right now, the Trump administration is playing it cool. Pompeo and other senior officials are pointing at Iran as being behind the Saturday attack but are keeping American options open. Step 1, of course, is security for our military forces in the region.

U.S. military leaders will certainly review options to strike Iran. That’s their job. Commanders at Central Command must prepare options available to President Trump.

Strikes on a drone base would be one option. So would a limited attack on Iranian oil facilities, like the 1988 strikes by the U.S. Navy on Iranian offshore oil rigs and naval vessels.

Any strike options would be limited and proportional. Most of all, an attack would be carried out only in consultation with Saudi Arabia and other allies – especially Britain, Australia and Bahrain. Those nations are part of Operation Sentinel, the maritime stability force protecting Persian Gulf shipping.

Could the drones and missiles have come from Yemen? Maybe. Iran has been supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen’s civil war, while a Saudi-led coalition is assisting the government of Yemen.

However, Pompeo’s statement that the attacks did not come from Yemen must be taken seriously. In this case, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and other allies have plenty of “eyes in the skies” watching everything that moves over the Persian Gulf region.

U.S. military leaders will certainly review options to strike Iran. That’s their job.

For example, drones and/or cruise missiles inbound from Iran’s coast to Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil facility in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia could have been seen by military forces.

The Iranian cruise missile specter has worried military planners for quite some time. Novator, the Russian company that made the 9M729 missile that led to the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, began marketing the Club-K “cruise missile in a box” several years ago.

This devastating system could hide inside a standard shipping container, giving customers a “long-range precision strike capability to ordinary vehicles that can be moved to almost any place on earth without attracting attention,” venerable Jane’s Defense Weekly reported in 2010.

The point is that Russia, China and others have sold Iran advanced missile technology. And they have been egging Iran on as President Hassan Rouhani plays at nuclear blackmail and refuses to talk.

President Trump need not rush to action. He’s proven to be methodical and cautious with the use of military force. He prefers talks to strikes. A lot hinges on what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia chooses to do.

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Here in the U.S., the Strategic Petroleum Reserve gives us ample time for Saudi Aramco to repair damage and restore output. The reserve of over 700 million barrels is stored in salt caves in Texas and Louisiana. It was tapped during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Trump on Sunday authorized the release of oil from the reserve to keep oil markets stable.

To my mind, the pressure is now on the United Nations. The U.N. General Assembly, which opens in New York on Tuesday, needs to address Iran’s behavior.

The U.N., after all, is the big honcho behind the Iran nuclear deal. The U.N. also runs the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has confirmed Iran’s nuclear violations.

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The world body shouldn’t focus only on climate change and sustainable development and shirk its core mission of conflict resolution. It will lose a lot of credibility if it can’t deal more effectively with Iran.

One thing is for certain: Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086400169001_6086400404001-vs Rebecca Grant: After Saudi Arabia is attacked, will US military attack Iran? Here are options Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0a3d3b15-5ea1-53e0-bf96-e95d506410bf   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086400169001_6086400404001-vs Rebecca Grant: After Saudi Arabia is attacked, will US military attack Iran? Here are options Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0a3d3b15-5ea1-53e0-bf96-e95d506410bf

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Trump: US ‘locked and loaded’ against attackers of Saudi oil facility ‘depending on verification’

President Trump on Sunday suggested U.S. investigators had “reason to believe” they knew who launched crippling attacks against a key Saudi oil facility, and vowed that America was “locked and loaded depending on verification.”

While he did not specify who he believed was responsible for Saturday’s drone attacks, U.S. investigators previously have pointed the finger at Iran.

“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!” the president tweeted.

Earlier Sunday, Trump authorized the use of emergency oil reserves in Texas and other states after Saudi oil processing facilities were attacked, sparking fears of a spike in oil prices when markets reopen Monday.

The president wrote that he had authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, “in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied.”

He continued, “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”

The Saudi oil sites attacked on Saturday, in a drone assault linked to Iran, interrupted about 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production, over 5 percent of the world’s daily supply.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility, but the U.S. has accused Iran of launching the assault. Tehran has denied any involvement, calling the accusations “maximum lies.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19258155738443 Trump: US 'locked and loaded' against attackers of Saudi oil facility 'depending on verification' fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 121c2084-0c20-5890-9976-90412dea68bc

This Saturday satellite image showed thick black smoke rising from Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia.  (Planet Labs Inc via AP)

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, located in Texas and Louisiana, is the largest government-owned stockpile of emergency crude oil in the world, according to the Department of Energy, which manages the supply.

The emergency reserve was created in the mid-1970s amid rising gasoline prices sparked by the Arab oil embargo. Per U.S. law, presidents may authorize the use of the reserves if a major disruption threatens the economy.

DEFIANT IRAN BLASTS POMPEO’S SAUDI-ATTACK ACCUSATIONS AS ‘BLIND AND FUTILE COMMENTS’

The federally owned petroleum reserve of hundreds of millions of barrels of crude oil has been tapped only three times, most recently in 2011 amid unrest in Libya.

“This president and his national security team, Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo – our nation’s chief diplomat – keep many options on the table, particularly when it comes to retaliating against malign behavior, and protecting American interests and Americans and our American economy,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, on “Fox News Sunday.”

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Saturday’s attack made no immediate impact on global oil prices since as markets were closed for the weekend, yet some analysts have cautioned that oil prices could spike when markets reopen on Monday.

Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, Stephen Sorace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19258155738443 Trump: US 'locked and loaded' against attackers of Saudi oil facility 'depending on verification' fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 121c2084-0c20-5890-9976-90412dea68bc   Westlake Legal Group AP19258155738443 Trump: US 'locked and loaded' against attackers of Saudi oil facility 'depending on verification' fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 121c2084-0c20-5890-9976-90412dea68bc

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‘Deplorable’ graffiti found at European Union’s Israel mission sparks condemnation

Westlake Legal Group EU-Building-Israel 'Deplorable' graffiti found at European Union's Israel mission sparks condemnation Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 304ef750-6411-540a-89b3-4cd7a24c656f

The European Union’s diplomatic mission in Israel reportedly was vandalized Sunday with the words, “German money kills Jews,” and “EU get out,” sparking condemnation from officials there.

The graffiti was spray-painted on the door and walls at the entrance to the EU offices in Ramat Gan, The Times of Israel reported, adding that Israeli police were investigating.

An Israeli activist and a mother who lost her child while serving in the Israeli military allegedly were behind the vandalism, according to the newspaper which cited Israeli television station Channel 12.

TRUMP SAYS HE AND NETANYAHU DISCUSSED POSSIBLE US-ISRAELI DEFENSE TREATY

Video broadcast by the station showed right-wing activist Sheffi Paz, who has railed against a wave of migration to Israel, in front of the graffiti, saying, “We are here because enough is enough. Stop intervening in Israel’s domestic policies, stop subsidizing terrorists, stop financing illegal immigration or get out of Israel.”

The video also showed a man, apparently a security guard, approaching the pair who continued to vandalize the entrance as he confronted them. They were not immediately arrested, The Times of Israel reported.

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: UK WILL LEAVE EU WITHOUT A DEAL IF NECESSARY, BY END OF OCTOBER

The European Union’s ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, tweeted that the office was closed on Sunday and no one was inside when the incident took place.

“Today the lobby of the EU Delegation was vandalized with threatening slogans on the walls,” Giaufret tweeted.

He added, “This incident is deplorable and has to be condemned. We will continue to do our job.”

The EU mission reportedly wrote in a statement that it contacted law enforcement and the foreign ministry to “ensure that adequate security measures are taken.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz tweeted that he condemned and was “appalled by” the act of vandalism, calling it “disgraceful.”

“Israel is committed to maintaining the security of all diplomatic missions,” Katz tweeted on Sunday. “The Israeli police are investigating the case, and I expect the culprits will be swiftly brought to justice.”

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Paz did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, she tweeted on Sunday, “The EU is funding our child killers and infiltrators’ associations. It’s time for them to stop.”

Westlake Legal Group EU-Building-Israel 'Deplorable' graffiti found at European Union's Israel mission sparks condemnation Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 304ef750-6411-540a-89b3-4cd7a24c656f   Westlake Legal Group EU-Building-Israel 'Deplorable' graffiti found at European Union's Israel mission sparks condemnation Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 304ef750-6411-540a-89b3-4cd7a24c656f

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Damage from Iran-linked drone attack on Saudi oil facility captured in satellite images

Saudi oil sites attacked on Saturday — in a drone assault linked to Iran — were seen to have sustained damage after satellite images released Sunday captured char marks and smoke billowing from the world’s largest oil processing facility.

The weekend attack ignited huge fires at Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil processing facility and interrupted about 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production — over 5 percent of the world’s daily supply.

DEFIANT IRAN BLASTS POMPEO’S SAUDI-ATTACK ACCUSATIONS AS ‘BLIND AND FUTILE COMMENTS’

U.S. satellite images appeared to show approximately 17 points of impact on key infrastructure at the site after the attack.

Westlake Legal Group Saudi-Refinery-Attacks_Commercial-Public-Diplomacy-1 Damage from Iran-linked drone attack on Saudi oil facility captured in satellite images Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 597712bb-9377-5381-a04d-8807e2da1040

U.S. satellite imagery showing about 17 points of impact on key infrastructure. (US official)

While Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have since claimed responsibility for the attack, the U.S. has accused Iran of launching the assault. Tehran has denied the allegations, calling the claims “maximum lies.”

Houthi leader Muhammad al-Bukhaiti reiterated his group’s claim of responsibility, telling The Associated Press on Sunday it exploited “vulnerabilities” in Saudi air defenses to strike the targets. He did not elaborate.

Westlake Legal Group Saudi-Refinery-Attacks_Commercial-Public-Diplomacy-2 Damage from Iran-linked drone attack on Saudi oil facility captured in satellite images Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 597712bb-9377-5381-a04d-8807e2da1040

The exact extent of the damage from the drone attack wasn’t immediately clear. (US official)

Other images appeared to show black char marks and thick black smoke in an area of the facility.

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies in August had identified that region as the plant’s stabilization area. That zone included “storage tanks and processing and compressor trains — which greatly increases the likelihood of a strike successfully disrupting or destroying its operations,” the center wrote at the time.

Westlake Legal Group saudi-oil-attack Damage from Iran-linked drone attack on Saudi oil facility captured in satellite images Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 597712bb-9377-5381-a04d-8807e2da1040

Thick black smoke rising from Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, captured in a satellite image. (Planet Labs Inc via AP)

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco have said how much damage was done to the facility. Saudi Arabia has promised to fill in the cut in production with its reserves but has not said how long it would take to repair the damage.

POMPEO ACCUSES IRAN OF ‘UNPRECEDENTED ATTACK’ AFTER DRONES HIT SAUDI OIL FACILITIES

There was no immediate impact on global oil prices from the attacks as markets were closed for the weekend, but analysts have anticipated a spike in oil prices when markets reopen Monday.

However, higher oil prices could add to the struggles facing the global economy. The spike in prices could dip the global economy into a recession, limiting any prolonged period of excessive prices as demand rebalances the market, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Westlake Legal Group saudi-oil-attack-2 Damage from Iran-linked drone attack on Saudi oil facility captured in satellite images Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 597712bb-9377-5381-a04d-8807e2da1040

Black char marks at the center of the facility suggested the attack struck at the heart of the processing facility. (European Commission via AP)

Meanwhile, the attack has ratcheted up the already high Mideast tensions amid escalating U.S.-Iran hostilities as the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, launched during the Obama administration, has continued to unravel.

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“Because of the tension and sensitive situation, our region is like a powder keg,” warned Iran National Guard Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh. “When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding.”

In recent months there’s been a string of mysterious attacks on oil tankers that the U.S. has blamed on Tehran; at least one suspected Israeli strike on Shiite forces in Iraq; and Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone.

Fox News’ Dom Calicchio, Kevin Corke and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group saudi-oil-attack Damage from Iran-linked drone attack on Saudi oil facility captured in satellite images Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 597712bb-9377-5381-a04d-8807e2da1040   Westlake Legal Group saudi-oil-attack Damage from Iran-linked drone attack on Saudi oil facility captured in satellite images Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 597712bb-9377-5381-a04d-8807e2da1040

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Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086295426001_6086307206001-vs Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’ fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 756ac75a-3400-561b-a495-d5ec316d79c4

An Iranian official responded Sunday after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed at the nation’s government in Tehran following Saturday’s drone attacks on Saudi Arabia oil facilities.

“The Americans adopted the ‘maximum pressure’ policy against Iran, which, due to its failure, is leaning towards ‘maximum lies’,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the Associated Press.

On Saturday, Pompeo charged that Iran’s government in Tehran ordered “nearly 100 attacks” on a Saudi refinery and oilfield, further alleging that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif pretending “to engage in diplomacy.”

POMPEO ACCUSES IRAN OF ‘UNPRECEDENTED ATTACK’ AFTER DRONES HIT SAUDI OIL FACILITIES

On Sunday, Mousavi dismissed Pompeo’s remarks as “blind and futile comments.”

Saturday’s attacks, for which Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, resulted in “the temporary suspension of production operations” at the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil field, Riyadh said. They followed weeks of similar drone assaults on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure, but none of the earlier strikes appeared to have caused the same amount of damage.

The attacks led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies, authorities said, while pledging the kingdom’s stockpiles would make up the difference. That size of shutdown hasn’t occurred since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But Saudi officials told the Journal that normal levels of oil production would resume by Monday.

The rebels hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other parts of the Arab world’s poorest country. Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has fought to reinstate the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

What remained to be seen were the attacks’ effect on world energy prices. With markets closed Sunday, the answer wouldn’t be known for another 24 hours.

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But one undeniable impact was an increase in Middle East tensions amid escalating U.S.-Iran hostilities as the Obama-era nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers continues to unravel.

Meanwhile, President Trump on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to offer his support for the kingdom’s defense, the White House said. The crown prince assured Trump that Saudi Arabia was “willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression,” according to a news release from the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

​​​​​​​Fox News’ Sam Dorman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086295426001_6086307206001-vs Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’ fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 756ac75a-3400-561b-a495-d5ec316d79c4   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086295426001_6086307206001-vs Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’ fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 756ac75a-3400-561b-a495-d5ec316d79c4

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Pompeo accuses Iran of ‘unprecedented attack’ after drones hit Saudi oil facilities

Westlake Legal Group aramco-fire-Reuters Pompeo accuses Iran of 'unprecedented attack' after drones hit Saudi oil facilities Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4cebedb0-ad10-5ef3-a962-a8b1f94f33d6

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to join him Saturday in condemning Iran for drone attacks on two Saudi oil facilities, which he described as “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while [President Hassan] Rouhani and [Foreign Minister Mohammad] Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy,” Pompeo tweeted, referring to the nation’s president and foreign affairs minister. ” … There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack hours before Pompeo’s tweet. The world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field were impacted, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies.

DRONE STRIKES TARGET WORLD’S LARGEST OIL FIELD PROCESSING FACILITY, SAUDI OIL FIELD; ATTACK CLAIMED BY IRANIAN-BACKED REBELS

“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,” Pompeo concluded.

According to multiple news reports that cited unidentified sources, the drone attacks affected up to half of the supplies from the world’s largest exporter of oil, though the output should be restored within days. It remained unclear if anyone was injured at the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oil field.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, denounced Pompeo’s description of the attack, calling it an “irresponsible simplification.”

“The Saudis and Houthis are at war. The Saudis attack the Houthis and the Houthis attack back. Iran is backing the Houthis and has been a bad actor, but it’s just not as simple as Houthis=Iran,” he added.

Saturday’s attack comes after weeks of similar drone assaults on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure, but none of the earlier strikes appeared to have caused the same amount of damage. The attack likely will heighten tensions further across the Persian Gulf amid an escalating crisis between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

In a short address aired by the Houthi-controlled Al-Masirah satellite news channel, military spokesman Yahia Sarie said the rebels launched 10 drones after receiving “intelligence” support from those inside the kingdom. He warned that attacks by the rebels would only get worse if the war continues.

“The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us,” Sarie said.

The rebels hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other parts f the Arab world’s poorest country. Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has fought to reinstate the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

Martin Griffiths, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, called the strikes “extremely worrying” and urged “all parties to prevent such further incidents, which pose a serious threat to regional security, complicate the already fragile situation and jeopardize [the] UN-led political process.”

Trump called Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the wake of the drone strikes and expressed the United States’ readiness to cooperate with the kingdom in supporting its security and stability, according to a news release from the Saudi Embassy in Washington. Trump said recent attacks against Saudi state-run oil facilities have had a negative impact on the U.S. and global economies.

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The White House readout of the same call said the president spoke to the crown prince to “offer his support for Saudi Arabia’s self-defense.

“The United States strongly condemns today’s attack on critical energy infrastructure,” the White House statement added. “Violent actions against civilian areas and infrastructure vital to the global economy only deepen conflict and mistrust. The United States Government is monitoring the situation and remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well supplied.”

Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group aramco-fire-Reuters Pompeo accuses Iran of 'unprecedented attack' after drones hit Saudi oil facilities Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4cebedb0-ad10-5ef3-a962-a8b1f94f33d6   Westlake Legal Group aramco-fire-Reuters Pompeo accuses Iran of 'unprecedented attack' after drones hit Saudi oil facilities Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4cebedb0-ad10-5ef3-a962-a8b1f94f33d6

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Netanyahu says he sought to annex Jordan Valley before election but Israel’s AG halted move: report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said Wednesday he had planned to declare sovereignty over the Jordan Valley immediately but Israel’s attorney general told him he did not have the authority to do so until after he was reelected and able to form a new government.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu had pledged to begin annexing the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank if he wins national elections next week. The announcement sparked denunciations from world leaders.

Following the announcement, a United Nations spokesman said the organization maintains that any Israeli move to control the Palestinian territory “would be devastating to the potential of reviving negotiations, regional peace and the very essence of a two-state solution.”

NETANYAHU WHISKED OFFSTAGE AT CAMPAIGN RALLY AFTER ROCKETS FIRED FROM GAZA STRIP

Netanyahu’s Tuesday announcement appeared to be aimed at shoring up the support of right-wing voters, many of whom live in settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu presented the move as a historic “one-time opportunity” to favorably redraw Israel’s borders. The Jordan Valley makes up about a quarter of the West Bank, which is the centerpiece of any future Palestinian state.

Westlake Legal Group Netanyahu-Jordan-Valley Netanyahu says he sought to annex Jordan Valley before election but Israel’s AG halted move: report Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc e19c68fc-2437-5142-8529-600f7d86fffa article

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu points to a Jordan Valley map during his announcement on Tuesday in Ramat Gan, Israel. Netanyahu pledged to annex Jordan Valley in Occupied West Bank if reelected after the Sept. 17 Israeli elections. (Getty Images)

While the head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council reportedly praised Netanyahu for the campaign pledge, some critics asserted that Netanyahu could have annexed the territory immediately through the cabinet without waiting until after the election, according to The Times of Israel.

On Wednesday Netanyahu said he had tried to annex the territory last week, but was shot down by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, the newspaper reported.

“I want to act on it immediately,” Netanyahu said in a Hebrew video posted to Facebook. “Therefore I wanted to already bring it to the Knesset [The Israeli Parliament] last week, [but] the attorney general said to me, ‘You can’t because it is a transitional government.’”

Netanyahu said Tuesday if he was reelected  he would also move toward annexing West Bank Israeli settlements, but added that he was waiting for the release of the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan.

The White House has said the plan is complete but will not be released until at least after the Israeli elections. The plan already is facing rejection by Palestinian officials, who oppose strengthening ties between the U.S. and Israel.

“The plan to apply sovereignty is not something that we thought about just recently. It was planned for months,” a senior Israeli government official reportedly told The Times of Israel. “But there were legal issues with doing anything before the elections. The attorney general said it cannot be done now due to legal constraints.”

The official reportedly added that U.S. officials were “fully informed.”

Netanyahu’s last-minute pledge to annex the Jordan Valley if reelected next week has sparked Arab condemnation and injected the Palestinians into a political campaign that had almost entirely ignored them.

In response to Netanyahu’s declaration Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, wrote on Twitter, “Killing all chances for peace for electoral purposes is irresponsible, dangerous.”

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The Jordan Valley makes up the eastern edge of the West Bank. Israel captured the area from Jordan, along with the rest of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, in the 1967 war. It has since established around 30 settlements in the Jordan Valley, which, according to the Israeli rights group B’Tselem, is now home to some 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 settlers. Palestinians and the international community overwhelmingly consider all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem illegal.

The Jordan Valley is considered a key security asset for Israel because it provides a buffer zone against potential attacks from the east and assures a defensive line along the country’s long frontier with Jordan, which signed a peace treaty with Israel 25 years ago.

Ahead of Netanyahu’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia also reportedly warned that the prime minister’s promise to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley could escalate tensions.

According to The Times of Israel, the Russian foreign ministry said the implementation could lead to a “sharp escalation of tensions in the region [and] undermine hopes for the establishment of long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.”

Netanyahu is scheduled to travel Thursday to Sochi to meet with Putin where the leaders will reportedly discuss regional issues. Netanyahu also met with Putin in Moscow days before the April 9 elections, reportedly as a way to garner votes from Israel’s large community of Russian speakers.

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Before the elections in April, Netanyahu made a similar promise that he would apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank if reelected. Netanyahu failed to form a government in the allotted time frame and instead of allowing another lawmaker to try to form a government, he pushed through a vote to dissolve the Israeli parliament and call for new elections.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz, Alex Pappas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Netanyahu-Jordan-Valley Netanyahu says he sought to annex Jordan Valley before election but Israel’s AG halted move: report Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc e19c68fc-2437-5142-8529-600f7d86fffa article   Westlake Legal Group Netanyahu-Jordan-Valley Netanyahu says he sought to annex Jordan Valley before election but Israel’s AG halted move: report Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc e19c68fc-2437-5142-8529-600f7d86fffa article

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Rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza following Israeli aircraft strike for drone ‘attack’

At least one rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Sunday night, landing on the Gaza side just shy of the border, during a weekend that saw a string of violent incidents in the area.

“A failed launch was spotted from the Gaza Strip. It did not cross into Israeli territory,” the army said, as the Times of Israel reported.

The attempted strike came as an Egyptian military intelligence delegation visited Gaza on Sunday to try calming heightened tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

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In the past, Egypt has helped broker unofficial ceasefires between Israel and the terror group Hamas, which has run Gaza since 2007.

On Saturday night, Israeli officials said their aircraft hit several military targets belonging Gaza’s Hamas rulers, after militants used a drone to drop a bomb on the Israeli side of the Gaza-Israel perimeter fence earlier in the day.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted on Saturday, “An armed drone launched from Gaza dropped an explosive on an IDF vehicle earlier today. In response, we just struck a number of Hamas targets, including offensive naval equipment and 2 military compounds in Gaza. We hold Hamas responsible.”

An army vehicle near the fence was lightly damaged, but the IDF did not specify if the explosive detonated.

There were no reports of Israeli or Palestinian injuries.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had threatened Hamas with a forceful response to the alleged drone attack, which appeared to be the first attempt to carry out an attack with a drone piloted from Gaza.

In a statement, Netanyahu said, “Hamas is responsible for everything coming out of Gaza and all attacks will be met with a vigorous response.”

Hamas was known to be developing a drone program and has used it before for reconnaissance missions over the frontier and into Israel.

ISRAELI DRONES STRIKE PALESTINIAN BASE OPERATED BY HEZBOLLAH ALLY

Westlake Legal Group Israel-5 Rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza following Israeli aircraft strike for drone 'attack' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 28cec9d5-d056-546c-973b-0403f2d53fc6

Israeli border police officers in the village of Azzun near the West Bank city of Qalqilya on Saturday.  (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Also on Saturday, an Israeli father and son were stabbed in the northern West Bank, near the town of Qalqilya, by a Palestinian, the Israeli military said. The 17-year-old son was in a serious but stable condition, according to Israeli medical services. The father’s condition was not immediately known.

Westlake Legal Group israel-6 Rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza following Israeli aircraft strike for drone 'attack' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 28cec9d5-d056-546c-973b-0403f2d53fc6

Israeli border police officers in the village of Azzun after an Israeli father and son were stabbed.  (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The day before, Israeli forces shot and killed two Gaza teenagers, 17 and 14, after what the IDF called “especially violent” riots broke out during protests along the volatile perimeter fence.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-2 Rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza following Israeli aircraft strike for drone 'attack' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 28cec9d5-d056-546c-973b-0403f2d53fc6

Relatives mourning the death of the 14-year-old Palestinian teenager Saturday.  (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

The IDF said more than 6,000 Palestinians took part in the weekly “March of Return,” including hundreds who rioted, with some allegedly throwing a large number of explosive devices, hand grenades and firebombs at the fence and Israeli soldiers.

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Militants in Gaza fired five projectiles into Israel on Friday night as an apparent retaliatory action.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-5 Rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza following Israeli aircraft strike for drone 'attack' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 28cec9d5-d056-546c-973b-0403f2d53fc6   Westlake Legal Group Israel-5 Rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza following Israeli aircraft strike for drone 'attack' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 28cec9d5-d056-546c-973b-0403f2d53fc6

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Mike Pompeo says key to ‘successful Iran’ is disarming rogue nation, appealing directly to its people

Westlake Legal Group Pompeo-IRG Mike Pompeo says key to 'successful Iran' is disarming rogue nation, appealing directly to its people Nick Givas fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4ca4462d-3875-5402-a805-b649c20a5808

Following President Trump‘s cancellation of a secret meeting centered on peace talks with Afghan and Taliban leaders, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo turned his focus to Iran during a “Fox News Sunday” interview and shared his thoughts on how the country could become successful and prosperous.

“We want a successful Iran. We want them to be part of the community of nations,” he told host Chris Wallace. “You can’t do that when you’re building missiles that threaten Europe, threaten Israel, and building out systems that could ultimately create a nuclear weapon.”

Pompeo wouldn’t comment on the odds of Trump meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. General Assembly later this month but said America must speak directly to the Iranian people and help them understand that the U.S. will not allow the country to obtain a nuclear weapon.

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“President Trump will think about whether it’s appropriate to meet based on whether he thinks we can get an improved outcome for the American people,” he said. “There are those [in Iran’s government] who think it’s wise to meet. There are those who just want to continue to kill people around the world.

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“We need to make sure that we’re doing all we can to make those that understand that the revolutionary nature of the Iranian regime is unacceptable, that they’ve got to change their behavior, and that America will never permit them to have a nuclear weapon,” Pompeo continued. “Those inside Iran that understand that, and I think that’s the majority of the Iranian people as well — those are the folks we want to make sure we talk to so that we ultimately get the right outcome.”

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Trump left the door open to a possible meeting while speaking with reporters at the White House this past Wednesday, saying America could help lift sanctions and lower Iranian inflation if Tehran was willing to come to the table.

“Their inflation is at a number that few people have ever seen inflation at, and it’s a very sad situation,” Trump said. “They could solve it very quickly. We could solve it in 24 hours, but we’ll see what happens.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Pompeo-IRG Mike Pompeo says key to 'successful Iran' is disarming rogue nation, appealing directly to its people Nick Givas fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4ca4462d-3875-5402-a805-b649c20a5808   Westlake Legal Group Pompeo-IRG Mike Pompeo says key to 'successful Iran' is disarming rogue nation, appealing directly to its people Nick Givas fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4ca4462d-3875-5402-a805-b649c20a5808

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Turkey’s Erdogan says he won’t accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can’t have nukes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday rejected calls to prevent his country from acquiring nuclear weapons, saying it was unacceptable for nuclear-armed states to forbid Turkey from doing so.

“Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But (they tell us) we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept,” Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling party members, according to Reuters.

Turkey has been part of a nuclear-sharing program among NATO allies and has hosted U.S. nuclear weapons, but does not have any nuclear weapons of its own. Erdogan did not specify whether Turkey would start trying to develop its own.

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“There is no developed nation in the world that doesn’t have them,” Erdogan added. However, only nine sovereign states are currently known to have nuclear weapons.

Turkey has long asserted it needs air defense systems to meet security threats, mostly stemming from the civil war in Syria. On Wednesday, Erdogan implied Turkey might need nuclear weapons to counterbalance Israel.

“We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbors,” he said, according to Reuters. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. No one can touch them.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f2a664ddf1e84465b4402194637a2b0e Turkey's Erdogan says he won't accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can't have nukes Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 9d6ecc20-3b94-5864-a74b-05ec335ead1a

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seen here in July 2019, fought for his country’s right to acquire nuclear weapons. (Associated Press)

Israel has had a longstanding policy of refusing to comment publicly on whether it maintains a nuclear arsenal.

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Erdogan’s remarks came amid tensions with the U.S. over Turkey’s purchase of an advanced Russian missile defense system. The U.S. threatened sanctions if Turkey completed the deal to buy the Russian system, the S-400, and President Trump ultimately followed through on the threat.

As a result of the S-400 deal, Turkey has been unable to buy the high-tech F-35 fighter jet. As a NATO member, Turkey had had a part in the development of the jet.

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Washington claimed Turkey’s deal with Russia might compromise intelligence regarding its development.

Trump said Turkey had bought the S-400 system as a result of the Obama administration refusing to sell Turkey the American alternative until after the S-400 deal was complete, Defense News reported.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f2a664ddf1e84465b4402194637a2b0e Turkey's Erdogan says he won't accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can't have nukes Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 9d6ecc20-3b94-5864-a74b-05ec335ead1a   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f2a664ddf1e84465b4402194637a2b0e Turkey's Erdogan says he won't accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can't have nukes Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 9d6ecc20-3b94-5864-a74b-05ec335ead1a

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