President Trump says US ‘locked and loaded’ after Iranian attack on Saudi oil field
President Trump on Sunday evening tweeted that the US has “reason to believe that we know” who is responsible for the attack on a Saudi Arabian oil field and the country is “locked and loaded depending on verification.”
It is the first time the president has hinted at a potential American military response to the attack.
Trump tweeted: “[We] are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] as to who they believe was the cause of this attack and under what terms we would proceed!”
Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News.
The senior official said that the president is fully aware that Iran is responsible, but he wants the Saudis to acknowledge it if they want U.S. help.
“It was Iran. The Houthis are claiming credit for something they did not do,” a senior US official said on Saturday.
Oil prices soared in the wake of the attack to reach six-month highs on Monday.
Meanwhile, President Trump announced that he had authorized the release of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve “if needed” and had instructed agencies to expedite approvals of oil pipeline projects so as to meet the global supply of oil, tweeting: “PLENTY OF OIL!”
In recent months, Iranian-backed terrorists have carried out a series of drone and missile attacks targeting Saudi airbases, airports and other facilities.
Tension worsened when Iran shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz in June, leading a month later to the Pentagon announcing the deployment of US troops to Saudi Arabia.