UN Secretary General Warns of Potential War in Gulf in Wake of Attacks on Saudi Aramco

© REUTERS / HAMAD I MOHAMMEDSaudi defence ministry spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malik displays remains of the missiles which Saudi government says were used to attack an Aramco oil facility, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 18, 2019
Saudi defence ministry spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malik displays remains of the missiles which Saudi government says were used to attack an Aramco oil facility, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 18, 2019 - Sputnik International
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US officials almost immediately blamed Iran for the September 14 attacks on two major Saudi oil facilities, with Tehran categorically rejecting the claims and accusing Washington of engaging in a policy of "maximum deceit." Yemen's Houthi militia claimed responsibility, and warned of further attacks unless Riyadh stopped the ongoing war in Yemen.

The attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities was "totally unacceptable," with the world now facing the risk of a major armed conflict in the Persian Gulf, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.

Speaking at the General Assembly in a 'state of the world' address on Tuesday, Guterres warned that "In a context where a minor miscalcluation can lead to a major confrontation, we must do everything possible to push for reason and restraint." 

"We face the alarming possibility of armed conflict in the Gulf, the consequences of which the world cannot afford," the secretary general said.

Guterres' remarks follow the twin attacks on two Saudi oil processing facilities earlier this month which temporarily knocked out about half of the country's production. The US and several of its allies almost immediately accused Iran of complicity in the attacks, a charge which Tehran has denied.

Yemen's Houthi militia, who claimed responsibility for the September 14 attacks, called efforts by some powers to suggest that anyone other than themselves was responsible for the attacks as a sign of "cowardice." Last Friday, the militia warned that Saudi Arabia would face new, "more painful, deadly and destructive" attacks" if the Saudi-led coalition's "ongoing shelling, blockade and aggression" against their country continued.

The Houthis have launched dozens of drone and missile attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia in recent years. The attacks began after a coalition of mostly Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen in March 2015 in a bid to restore ousted Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to power.

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