Damage at Saudi oil facilities revealed after airstrikes

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media before departing from al Bateen Air Base in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Thursday Sept. 19 2019 as U.S. special representative on Iran Brian Hook left listens

Trump in June authorized a military strike after Iran shot down a United States drone, only to call it off at the last moment.

Saudi officials brought journalists Friday to see the damage done in an attack the USA alleges Iran carried out.

Zarif was responding to a statement a day earlier by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Abu Dhabi that: "While the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American, we're here to build up a coalition aimed at achieving peace".

Saudi Aramco revealed the significant damage caused by aerial strikes on its Khurais oil field and Abqaiq crude-processing plant last weekend, and insisted that the sites will be back to pre-attack output levels by the end of the month.

Yemen's Iranian-allied Houthi rebels claimed the assault, but analysts say the missiles used wouldn't have enough range to reach the site from Yemen.

The recent attacks knocked out more than half of Saudi Arabia's daily crude oil production.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized to a small number of journalists traveling with him Monday that the question of whether the USA responds is a "political judgment" and not for the military.

"It is my job to provide military options to the president should he decide to respond with military force", Dunford said.

"Treasury's action targets a crucial funding mechanism that the Iranian regime uses to support its terrorist network, including the Qods Force, Hezbollah and other militants that spread terror and destabilize the region", he said. "The easiest thing I could do (is) knock out 15 different major things in Iran", Trump said. Officials are trying to determine if they can get navigational information from the debris that could provide hard evidence that the strikes came from Iran.

Officials said 110 contractors evacuated the site after the attack and there were no injuries. The Qods Force conducts global operations for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, who are in charge of protecting the clerical regime. The decision underscored the president's long-held reluctance to embroil the country in another war in the Middle East and could be a signal for how Trump now, considering that the latest strike did not involve any US assets or personnel. "It proves to Tehran that there will be no stopping United States sanctions unless Iran changes its behavior", he said.

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