USA

Trump: US 'Locked And Loaded' To Respond To Attack On Saudis

The US has also released new evidence of what it says backs up its allegation that Iran was responsible for the attack.

(Cover picture: US Department of Defense).

US President Donald Trump has said his country is "locked and loaded" to respond after a drone attack on a Saudi Arabian oil field. 

President Trump said on Twitter that the US was waiting to hear from the Saudis as to who they believe was behind the attack and "under what terms we would proceed!"

His tweets followed a National Security Council meeting at the White House that included Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Donald Trump tweet on response to attacks on Saudi Arabia
Donald Trump tweeted that the US was "locked and loaded" (Picture: Donald Trump/Twitter).

A US official speaking on condition of anonymity said all options, including a military response, were on the table, but added that no decisions had been made.

The US has also released new evidence of what it says backs up its allegation that Iran was responsible for the attack which has halved Saudi Arabia's oil production.

It comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran over the collapsing 2015 nuclear deal.

Hours earlier, senior US officials said satellite imagery and other intelligence showed the strike was inconsistent with one launched from Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthi rebels had claimed responsibility.

Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.

Donald Trump
Mr Trump says he approved the release of US petroleum reserves to stabilise the oil market (Picture: PA).

Iran described the US' claims as "maximum lies".

Meanwhile, a commander in Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard reiterated its forces could strike US military bases across the Middle East.

Earlier, President Trump said he had approved the release of US strategic petroleum reserves "if needed" to stabilise energy markets after the attack on Saudi Arabian facilities.

The US President tweeted that the attacks could have an impact on oil prices and the final amount of the release, if any, would be "sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied".

Oil prices soared after the attack but dipped after President Trump's announcement. 

The attack wiped out more than 5% of the world's oil production and sparked fears of an energy crisis in the region.