By Daniel DePetris
Last weekend’s attack on the Khurais oil field and the al-Abqaiq facility, Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant, jolted crude markets over the short-term and added another layer of concern to a Middle Eastern region already teeming with problems. U.S. officials have reportedly provided Riyadh with intelligence suggesting the attack, done in part by cruise missiles, may have been launched from Iran. While the Saudis have yet to attribute responsibility, officials in the Kingdom have assessed the assault was conducted by Iranian-made weapons. Who launched the attacks is only part of the analysis. It’s critical to remember that it was Saudi Arabia, not the United States, that was attacked. But Washington doesn’t seem to care about that distinction, conflating core U.S. national security interests with Saudi ones.
The Pentagon is now preparing for possible military action against Tehran in retaliation and presenting the president with a number of strike options, including action against Tehran’s largest oil refinery. The rush to hasty military action is popular in most of Washington, with Senator Chris Coons telling Fox News that military strikes may be appropriate.
This piece was originally published by The Hill on September 20, 2019. Read more HERE.