15:02 GMT20 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US government has concluded that drone attacks on Saudi’s oil industry that took place in May originated from Iraq and not Yemen, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

    The attacks raise concerns that Iran is attempting to open up a new front in its conflict with the United States, the media said citing US officials.

    Two Saudi oil facilities located along a major pipeline were hit on 14 May in a drone attack; Riyadh alleged that the attacks were ordered by Iran and carried out by Houthi militants, who are fighting against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. While Tehran denied involvement in the incident, the Houthi movement confirmed that it was behind the attacks calling them their largest military operation conducted since the armed conflict in Yemen began in 2015.

    This prompted Riyadh to temporarily shut down the pipeline and conduct retaliatory airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen.

    The strike did not disrupt oil production or export. However, Saudi Arabia made a decision to temporarily halt pumping crude oil via the pipeline.

    The Houthis have repeatedly targeted military and oil facilities inside Saudi Arabia with rockets, but have also applied drones.

    Since early 2015, Yemen has been in the grips of an armed conflict between government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement. The Houthis have taken control over swathes of the country, including the capital Sanaa, forcing the internationally recognised president to flee and later request military assistance from the Arab League, which ultimately resulted in a Saudi Arabia-led operation against Houthi positions in Yemen.


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