Pompeo Calls Strikes an ‘Act of War’ as he Visits Saudi Arabia, Meets with Crown Prince

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the recent attacks against Saudi oil facilities an “act of war” by Iran, and met Wednesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

The recent attacks “didn’t come from the Houthis,” Pompeo said Wednesday in remarks to reporters. “This was an Iranian attack…we’re blessed that there were no Americans killed in this attack, but any time you have an act of war of this nature, there’s always risk that that could happen.”

“This is an attack of a scale we’ve just not seen before,” the Secretary said.

The remarks were made to reporters while the Secretary was en route to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Pompeo is now visiting the United Arab Emirates, another key Arab ally in the region.

Abqaiq oil field on Saturday morning shortly after the attacks.

Abqaiq oil field on Saturday morning shortly after the attacks.

Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki told journalists at a press conference earlier that 18 drones and seven cruise missiles had hit the two Saudi oil facilities, VOA reports. Saudi officials displayed some of the evidence from the attack it said links the strike directly to Iran.

France has sent seven military experts to investigate this weekend’s attacks. China, a key U.N. Security Council member, said it hopes for an “objective” investigation, Reuters reports.

President Trump has continued to walk a fine line in discussing the attacks since his initial comments that said the U.S. was “locked and loaded” and ready to respond to Iran with force. Yesterday, Trump announced that the U.S. would ratchet up sanctions on Iran, without specifying in what way the U.S. could further sanction the country.

Asked about a possible retaliatory American attack on Iran, Mr. Trump told reporters in Los Angeles: “There are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that,” the New York Times reports.