The United States has pinpointed the exact locations in Iran from which a combination of more than 20 unmanned aerial vehicles and nearly a dozen cruise missiles were launched at two Saudi oil installations this past weekend.
According to a report by CBS News, the launch sites are located in southern Iran, at the northern end of the Persian Gulf.
“One of the missiles flew through Kuwait’s airspace and the US is working with a number of other countries to analyze data on the attack, which could help make the case against Iran,” CBS News reported.
A US team has already been at the two sites and has identified the specific types of drones and cruise missiles that were fired, according to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.
The wreckage was moved to a facility outside Riyadh, where a US official said it will be used to make a “very compelling forensic case” that Iran launched “a complex and coordinated attack” on Saudi Arabia, including radar tracks reconstructed to show the cruise missiles and drones flying out of Iran.
Saudi air defenses were oriented towards the south to defend the facilities against threats from the Houthi rebels in Yemen; as a result, there were no defenses properly oriented in the correct direction when missiles and drones arrived from Iran, according to Trump administration officials who spoke with both CBS and ABC News teams.
President Donald Trump warned already on Sunday that the US is “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, and at the time was just waiting for verification on who was responsible, and word from Saudi Arabia on how to proceed.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travels to Riyadh on Tuesday to discuss that question as well as the information provided by US intelligence personnel to Saudi government officials about the attack on the state-run Aramco’s Khurais and Buqyaq oil facilities. Both are located relatively close to the Saudi capital.
Officials in Riyadh acknowledged Monday that Iranian weapons were clearly used in the attack that crippled the Saudi oil installations, but nevertheless still remained reluctant to blame the Islamic Republic directly at that point.
Iranian proxy forces in Yemen – Houthi rebels – had claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place literally hundreds of miles from Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia. Pompeo briskly dismissed the claim, tweeting that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”