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There's an old saying that wars are easy to get into but hard to get out of. President Trump understands this, which is why he wisely resisted the temptation to launch a military strike against Iran after that nation launched a missile and drone attack last week against Saudi Arabian oil facilities. When he was running for president, Trump promised the American people he would not jump into endless conflicts in the greater Middle East, where thousands of members of the U.S. military have been killed and wounded in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fighting began in 2001 in Afghanistan and 2003 in Iraq and still continues in both countries. U.S. forces have also fought on a smaller scale in Syria to strike at terrorist targets.
The White House weighs its options as Iran warns that a military response could trigger an'all-out war'; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports. Saudi Arabia defended itself as well as possible from the recent massive attack on its oil facilities -- an attack that the U.S. has blamed on Iran, a military expert said. "I don't think there is any country that could have defended any better than Saudi Arabia did, and that includes the United States," Peter Roberts, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, told The New York Times. "I don't think there is any country that could have defended any better than Saudi Arabia did, and that includes the United States." Eighteen drones and seven cruise missiles bombarded the facilities in an asault described as a "Pearl Harbor-type" attack.
On Fox Nation's "Deep Dive," a panel of experts analyzed the world response to last weekend's crippling attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure and explained why the Saudi government seems hesitant to explicitly accuse Iran of carrying out the strikes. "If you look at the sophistication of the attack, the ranges of the weapons used, and how this was perpetrated, it can only be Iran really," said Lt. Col. Dakota Wood, who is a retired Marine and Senior Research Fellow for Defense Program at the Heritage Foundation. At a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the Saudis displayed broken and burned drones and pieces of a cruise missile that military spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki identified as Iranian weapons collected after the attack. Tehran has denied that it carried out the attacks and Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility. Speaking from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran is responsible for the attack, telling reporters that the strike was "an act of war."
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia alleged Wednesday an attack by drones and cruise missiles on the heart of the kingdom's oil industry was "unquestionably sponsored by Iran," naming but not directly accusing Tehran of launching the assault. Iran denies being involved in the attack claimed by Yemeni rebels, and has threatened the U.S. that it will retaliate "immediately" if Tehran is targeted in response. The news conference by Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki comes after a summer of heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. over President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrawing America from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The U.S. alleges Iran launched the attack, which Yemen's Houthi rebels earlier claimed as a response to the yearslong Saudi-led war there that's killed tens of thousands of people. Al-Malki made a point not to directly accuse Iran of firing the weapons or launching them from inside of Iranian territory.
CANBERRA – An Australian government minister on Wednesday expressed concern for three Australians arrested in Iran on suspicion of spying and separated their plight from a tense standoff in the Middle East over the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham was responding after Iran on Tuesday acknowledged for the first time that it is holding three Australian citizens, including two British dual nationals, on suspicion of espionage. "The government continues to seek information and clarity around these matters," Birmingham told Australian Broadcasting Corp. "We are concerned for the welfare of these individuals and work to make sure their treatment is as fair as possible." Iran confirmed the arrests of Melbourne University Middle East expert Kylie Moore-Gilbert in October and travel blogging couple Mark Firkin and Jolie King in July as fallout continues from Saturday's fiery missile and drone attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was headed to Jiddah in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss possible responses to what U.S. officials believe was an attack coming from Iranian soil.
WASHINGTON – Several U.S. lawmakers urged caution Tuesday in countering recent attacks on Saudi oil installations, but Trump loyalist Sen. Lindsey Graham branded the incident an "act of war" that merits a decisive response. Graham said it was "clear" that such a sophisticated attack -- drones firing missiles into the world's largest processing plant and an oilfield in Saudi Arabia -- could only have originated with direction and involvement from the "evil regime in Iran." "This is literally an act of war and the goal should be to restore deterrence against Iranian aggression which has clearly been lost," Graham said in a statement. The Republican lawmaker and trusted Trump ally tweeted that Washington should consider an attack on Iran's oil refineries in response, a move that he said "will break the regime's back." Graham has been a defense hawk for years, and he noted that Trump's "measured response" to Iran shooting down an American drone in June "was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness." A classified briefing book on the attacks was made available to U.S. senators in a secure location in the U.S. Capitol.
Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar faces condemnation over her'some people did something' comments; reaction from Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer, former White House contributor. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, blasted President Trump over his handling of Iran and suggested that his administration is to blame over the increased tensions between the two nations. Over the weekend, Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed they launched drone attacks on the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires and halting about half of the supplies from the world's largest exporter of oil. The attacks marked the latest of many drone assaults on the Kingdom's oil infrastructure in recent weeks, but easily the most damaging. They raised concerns about the global oil supply and could further escalate tensions across the Persian Gulf amid a growing crisis between the U.S. and Iran over the troubled nuclear deal.
As the plumes of smoke settle over two of Saudi Arabia's critical oil production facilities – which came under crippling drone strikes over the weekend – both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are deliberating options for retaliation, raising the possibility of much broader instability across the region, although President Trump was quick to point out Monday, "I don't want war with anybody." Intelligence officials from both countries have been quick to point fingers at Iran as the orchestrators of the attack, which analysts have deemed as one of the most disruptive in history. "This is perhaps one of the greatest examples of kinetic economic warfare we have seen in recent times. Iran is suffering from our sanctions but does not want to escalate into an active war with us," Andrew Lewis, a former Defense Department staffer and the president of a private intelligence firm, the Ulysses Group, told Fox News. "They can do a lot to manipulate the world economy, which will have a negative impact on the U.S. and our allies in Europe."
Hudson Institute senior fellow Michael Pregent says he believes without a doubt that Iran was involved in the attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Iran on Monday reportedly seized a vessel in the Persian Gulf for allegedly smuggling diesel to the United Arab Emirates -- a close ally of Saudi Arabia -- amid the ratcheting up of regional tensions after a group of Iranian-backed rebels said they were responsible for the attack on a Saudi oil facility over the weekend. The vessel seized Monday morning was carrying 250,000 liters of fuel when it was intercepted by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the Islamic Republic's semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency. "It was detained near Iran's Greater Tunb island in the Persian Gulf...the crew have been handed over to legal authorities in the southern Hormozgan province," ISNA reported, according to Reuters. The nationalities of those aboard the vessel were not immediately clear.
The attack, which knocked out more than half of the Saudi oil output, may force the U.S. to tap into its own oil reserves to keep the markets well supplied. President Trump on Sunday suggested U.S. investigators had "reason to believe" they knew who launched crippling attacks against a key Saudi oil facility, and vowed that America was "locked and loaded depending on verification." While he did not specify who he believed was responsible for Saturday's drone attacks, U.S. investigators previously have pointed the finger at Iran. "Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" the president tweeted. Earlier Sunday, Trump authorized the use of emergency oil reserves in Texas and other states after Saudi oil processing facilities were attacked, sparking fears of a spike in oil prices when markets reopen Monday.