US intel crosses out Iraq launch in Saudi attacks

US intel crosses out Iraq in Saudi Aramco strikes, points to Iran
2 min read
16 September, 2019
US officials reportedly believe the attacks on Saudi oil facilities were launched from Iran, not Iraq.
Iraq has denied any involvement [Getty]
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that US intelligence confirms Iraq was not used as the launchpad for drone strikes on key Saudi oil facilities this weekend, the Iraqi premier's office said on Monday.

The statements have not yet been officially confirmed by US officials, some of whom had previously pointed to the possibility of Iraq as a launchpad for the attacks.

However, the Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that US officials had shared intelligence with Saudi Arabia that reportedly confirms the role of Iran as a launchpad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi spoke with Pompeo about the attacks over the phone, the premier's office said on Monday, stressing Baghdad had not been involved.

Iraq officially denied its territory had been used for the strikes on Sunday, but doubts still remain for some.

Abdul Mahdi told the secretary of state that Baghdad's aim was to "prohibit Iraqi territory being used to wage attacks against any neighbouring, brotherly or friendly country".

According to a statement from the premier's office, Pompeo told the prime minister that intelligence gathered by the US "confirms" that Iraqi land was not used in the latest attacks.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said on Monday that the attacks had been perpetrated using weapons from Iran and denied the involvement of the Yemeni rebels who claimed the attack over the weekend.

"This strike didn't come from Yemen territory as the Houthi militia are pretending," Turki al-Maliki said.

Saudi officials are yet to confirm from where they believe the attack was directed.

Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions.

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 Gulf waters.

But raids on bases belonging to Iran-linked paramilitary groups attributed to Israel have sparked fears of an escalation

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab