Houthi rebels warn of new attacks on Saudi oil plants

Updated: Sep 17, 2019, 12:16 IST | Agencies | Washington

Threat comes a day after Donald Trump said the US, which has blamed Iran for Saturday's drone assault, was prepared for a retaliatory military strike

The US, which has blamed Iran for the attacks, says President Trump may still meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in New York next week. Tehran, however, says ‘such a thing won’t happen'. Pic /AFP
The US, which has blamed Iran for the attacks, says President Trump may still meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in New York next week. Tehran, however, says ‘such a thing won’t happen'. Pic /AFP

Washington: Yemen's Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for devastating Saturday attacks on Saudi oil facilities, threatened on Monday to carry out more strikes and urged foreigners to stay away. "We assure the Saudi regime that our long hand can reach any place we want at any time we choose. We warn companies and foreigners not to stay in the plants that we have targeted because they are still within our reach and could be targeted again," Houthi military spokesman Brigadier Yahya Saree said.

'Locked and loaded'

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump earlier warned that the US is "locked and loaded" to respond to the unprecedented drone strikes on key Saudi oil facilities.
"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!" Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Oil prices soar

Trump's threat comes a day after his top diplomat blamed Iran for the attack that has led to the biggest surge in crude oil prices since the 1990-1991 Gulf War. Iran has denied the allegations. Oil prices surged more than 10 per cent on Monday. West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.68 per cent to $60.71 and Brent climbed 11.77 per cent to $67.31 in early Asia trading following the blasts at facilities run by state-owned giant Aramco. Brent soared 20 per cent at one point on Monday, while WTI surged 15 per cent before paring the gains.

China on Monday threw its weight behind Iran, saying that it is not fair to blame Tehran for the attacks without any conclusive probe. China also asked both the US and Iran to exercise self-restraint.

Surge in oil prices post-drone attacks

'India's fuel import bill to take a hit'

The Saudi plant attacks will hit India's oil import bill and as "Saudi Arabia is India's second-largest supplier of crude and cooking gas, a 10 per cent rise in crude prices widens India's current account deficit by 0.4-0.5 per cent of GDP," Singapore's DBS Banking Group said on Monday. Every dollar move in the Brent prices adds around $2 billion to India's oil imports bill, it said. However, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan assured on Monday that India, which relies on imported crude to meet 83 per cent of its oil demand, won't face any supply disruption.

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