Iraq denies its territory was used to launch attack on Saudi oil facilities

A Baghdad government statement denied “media reports that (Iraqi) territory was used to attack Saudi oil installations.” (File photo: AFP)

Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil installations, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.

The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.

The operation was claimed by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.

But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.

Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”

“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.

“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution,” he added.

Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.

Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Arabian Gulf waters.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:05 - GMT 11:05
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