The tensions in the Middle East have escalated following drone attacks on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. While the United States has said there is evidence Iran is linked to the attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has recommended Russian missile defence for purchase by Saudi Arabia.
Putin said Russia is ready to help Saudi Arabia following attacks on the Saudi oil industry if needed after talks with leaders of Turkey and Iran in Ankara, and proposed Russian weapons for purchase.
“We are ready to provide respective assistance to Saudi Arabia, and it would be enough for the political leadership of Saudi Arabia to make a wise government decision – as the leaders of Iran did in their time by purchasing S-300 and as (Turkish) President (Tayyip) Erdogan did by purchasing the latest S-400 ‘Triumph’ air defence systems from Russia,” Putin said.
Aljazeera quoted Putin to have said, these Russian weapons would protect any infrastructure facilities of Saudi Arabia, he added.
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The pre-dawn strikes on Saturday knocked out more than half of crude output from the world’s top exporter, about five per cent of the global oil supply and cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day, Aljazeera reported.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been locked in a war with a Saudi-UAE-led coalition since 2015, claimed responsibility for the attacks, warning Saudi Arabia that their targets “will keep expanding”.
But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiftly accused Iran of being behind the assault, without providing any evidence. The claim was rejected by Tehran which said the allegations were meant to justify actions against it.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has promised to “confront and deal with this terrorist aggression”, while US President Donald Trump hinted at possible military action after Riyadh concluded its investigation into the attacks.