The United States on Thursday said it is confident that it will be able to determine who was behind the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities. “Indications are that Iran was behind the strikes but the United States will let Saudi Arabia announce who was responsible. As of this time, all indications we have are that Iran is in some way responsible for the attack on the Saudi oil refineries,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.
“We have a high level of confidence that we will be able to accurately and appropriately attribute the responsible parties for this but we’re going to continue to work with the Saudis to reach that point,” the Pentagon spokesman said.
“We are being deliberative about this,” he continued, “and we’ll wait until the final assessment is completed with the Saudis.” Hoffman was asked what reprisals could be foreseen to what he called a “well-planned and sophisticated” attack.
“The job of the Department of Defence is to provide the president with options,” he said. “And that is what we are doing: we provide him with options and then he makes a determination of what to do.” The Pentagon spokesman said the United States is not seeking a conflict.
“Our goal has been to deter conflict in the Middle East. We’ve said that repeatedly, the president said that, the secretary said that we do not want conflict.” Colonel Pat Ryder, spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no decision had been made to beef up the US presence in the region.
“As you recall back in May, we did increase the force presence at the time based on some threats from Iran,” Ryder said.
“We’re constantly assessing the region and the environment but we do not have any announcements to make at this time in terms of any type of force adjustment or posture increase,” he said.
Earlier, Donald Trump had said it "looks" like Iran was behind the explosive attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. However, Trump ruled out any military retaliation for now to the strike against a key US Mideast ally.
A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels since March 2015. The Iranian-backed Houthis hold Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and other territory in the Arab world's poorest country.
The war has become the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The violence has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine and killed more than 90,000 people since 2015, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, which tracks the conflict.