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Saudi Oil Attacks : US continues to blame Iran

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The Yemeni Houthi armed movement, which has claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack on key Saudi oil installations, has warned it could strike again at any moment and warned foreigners to avoid the areas targeted. In a statement issued via the group's al-Masirah TV outlet on Monday, Houthi armed forces spokesperson Brigadier General Yahya Sare'e said such attacks will continue until the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen withdraws.

The attack targeted the Abqaiq and Khurais refineries in the east of the country, forcing Saudi Arabia to shut down half of its oil production and prompting a spike in crude prices worldwide.Sare’e said the attack—named the Second Operation of Balanced Deterrence—employed 10 Houthi drones.

However, the U.S. has instead suggested that Iran was behind the operation, alleging the refineries were hit by a combination of drones and cruise missiles launched from the north of the impact site, rather than Houthi positions in Yemen to the south. U.S. officials also said there were 19 impact points at the site, the BBC noted.

Iran, which is accused of funding and arming the Houthi rebels in their war against a Saudi-led coalition fighting on behalf of Yemen’s deposed government, has denied the accusation.

Sare’e also warned foreign companies and workers to avoid the sites in Abqaiq and Khurais, claiming a repeat attack could be launched at any moment. The brigadier general said Houthi forces can hit vital Saudi infrastructure at will, and vowed that attacks would continue until the Saudi-led coalition ended its “aggression” and “siege” on Yemen, al-Masirah TV reported.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran relations had, until this weekend, appeared to be lessening after months of brinkmanship and posturing.

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