12:11 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Dominic Raab

    Houthi Involvement in Saudi Oil Refinery Attacks 'Entirely Implausible' - UK Foreign Minister

    © AP Photo / Matt Dunham
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    Last week, two of Saudi Aramco's oil facilities were targeted by drones, forcing the oil company to close its Abqaiq and Khurais refineries. While Yemen's Houthis claimed responsibility for the attacks, Riyadh and Washington blamed Tehran for the incident. The Islamic Republic denies the allegation.

    British foreign minister Dominic Raab has cast doubt on Houthi involvement in last week's attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

    "From the information I have seen, I find it entirely implausible and lacking in credibility to suggest that those attacks came from Houthi rebels," Raab told the BBC on Sunday.

    Raab did not specify whom London puts the blame for the attacks on.

    "Before we attribute responsibility I want to be absolutely crystal clear because that will mean the action that we take can be as robust and as widely supported as possible," the minister added.

    Last week, two drones targeted Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq and Khurais facilities causing disruption to the kingdom's oil output. Hours later, Yemen's Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, claimed responsibility for the attack.

    A picture taken on September 15, 2019 shows the entrance of an Aramco oil facility near al-Khurj area, just south of the Saudi capital Riyadh
    © AFP 2019 / FAYEZ NURELDINE
    A picture taken on September 15, 2019 shows the entrance of an Aramco oil facility near al-Khurj area, just south of the Saudi capital Riyadh

    However, Washington pointed the finger at Tehran, saying that the Islamic Republic bears responsibility for the attacks. Iran dismissed the allegations as absurd and unsubstantiated.

    Houthis have since warned Saudi Arabia of new, more damaging attacks on the country's vital facilities if Riyadh continues military action against those parts of Yemen under the movement's control.

    Tensions rose further after the US administration ordered new economic sanctions against Iran, targeting the country's central bank and its sovereign wealth fund. Tehran responded by saying that the US sanction policy had failed.

    Related:

    Accepting Houthi Responsibility for Saudi Oil Attack Means Admitting Riyadh’s War in Yemen Failed
    Houthis Warn Saudi Arabia of More Damaging Attacks If Riyadh Continues Military Action
    Yemen’s Houthis Announce Halt on Attacks Against Saudis, Expect Reciprocal Steps From Riyadh
    Tags:
    Houthi rebels, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia, UK
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