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16 Sep, 2019 13:14

Prematurely assigning blame for attack on Saudi oil facilities is irresponsible, says China

Prematurely assigning blame for attack on Saudi oil facilities is irresponsible, says China

Beijing has warned that it would be irresponsible to guess who is the culprit behind the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities without conducting a proper investigation. The US had immediately blamed Iran for the operation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged against jumping to conclusions over the attack, which hit the world's biggest oil-processing facility, stressing that a needless escalation in the region should be avoided.

“Pondering who is to blame in the absence of a conclusive investigation, I think, is in itself not very responsible. China’s position is that we oppose any moves that expand or intensify conflict,” Hua said on Monday during a press briefing.

She implored all parties concerned to “restrain themselves” in order to “safeguard peace and stability” in the Middle East.

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Washington wasted little time in pointing the finger at Iran. In an ominous tweet, President Donald Trump said on Sunday that his country’s military was “locked and loaded” for a potential response to the attack. Tehran has denied any involvement in the incident, accusing the Trump administration of trying to tarnish the Islamic Republic’s image in order to justify “future actions” against the country.

Contradicting the US narrative, Houthi rebels in Yemen have already admitted responsibility for the attack. The group said they used 10 armed drones to hit two Aramco oil refineries on Saturday. The attacks caused massive fires and other damage to the sites, halving Saudi Arabia’s oil output.

In a statement, the Houthis said that Aramco facilities remained a target and could be attacked again at “any moment.”

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