The Saudis say these cruise missile parts from the oil plant attacks are 'undeniable' proof of Iran's secret hand
Ellen Ioanes,Ellen IoanesSep 19, 2019, 22:58 IST
Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki displays what he describes as an Iranian cruise missile and drones used in an attack this weekend that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, during a press conference in RiyadhAP Photo/Amr Nabil
At a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki presented what he alleged is wreckage from Iranian drones and missiles from an attack Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil facilities on Saturday.
Al-Malki said that the weapons used in Saturday's attacks are Iranian Ya Ali missiles and Delta Wing drones. But there is a possibility that it is another weapon entirely, researcher Fabian Hinz writes in Arms Control Wonk.
Hinz's examination of the wreckage indicated that it was a Quds 1 missile. This missile hasn't been seen in Iran, but it's possible that Iran is producing them - or their components - there. They could be supplied to proxies or fired by Iranian forces.
Iran has continued to deny responsibility for the attack.
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki presented evidence from a Saudi investigation into attacks on its state-owned oil facilities on Saturday, telling reporters that the wreckage of drones and missiles is "undeniable" evidence that Iran supported the attack, Al-Jazeera reports.
"The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran," al-Malki said. "The evidence ... that you have seen in front of you makes this undeniable."
"The Iranian regime and the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], they are trying to hide any evidence" of involvement, he said. "We do have a lot of evidence against the IRGC and we will provide it to the United Nations and through the right channel according to the international law."
Al-Malki showed remnants from 25 drones and missiles he said were used in the attack on Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer. He said authorities were still trying to determine the exact launch point, but affirmed that the weapons came from north of the targets.
Al-Malki said that 18 drones and seven missiles were launched against Saudi Aramco's Khurais oil field and Abqaiq oil processing plant, the largest in the world.
The Houthis claim to have developed the Quds 1 missile themselves, Hinz writes. but there's not a high likelihood of that, given the grinding poverty and lack of infrastructure in Yemen.
If indeed the missile components shown Wednesday are from a Quds 1, that doesn't mean the Houthi forces are behind the attack.
Iran still denies involvement in the strikes on Saudi Arabia.