President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Sunday the United States is “locked and loaded” following a series of drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil supply over the weekend.

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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!”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran — without providing evidence — for the drone strikes on a pair of oil refineries in Saudi Arabia, although several news outlets have reported that Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks. Tehran denied any involvement in the strikes.

The development comes amid growing tensions between Washington and Tehran. In June, Iran shot down a U.S. drone that had invaded its airspace. The White House had initially said it would retaliate with its own military strike but ultimately called off this response, saying such a move would be “disproportionate.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to Pompeo’s false accusation by mocking the U.S.’s tactic of applying “max pressure” to Tehran.

“Blaming Iran won’t end disaster, Zarif wrote. “Accepting our April ’15 proposal to end war & begin talks may.”

Trump also authorized the use of the U.S.’s emergency oil reserve as a response to the drones strikes in a separate tweet.

The Houthis belong to a local network of militant organizations supported by Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival in the region. According to The New York Times, both Saudi and U.S. officials believe Iran has sent technicians to Yemen in order to train the Houthis on the use of drones and other weapons technologies.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci responded to Trump’s comments in an interview with CNN, saying the president’s remarks reflect a “predictable level of irrationality from him.”

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment