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Saudia calls for 'all means of force' to confront attacks

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Two Saudi oil tankers and two other vessels were targeted earlier this month near Fujairah, one of the seven Arab Emirates, in what the UAE's Foreign Ministry has described as “acts of sabotage”. reports citing Al-Arabiya.

During a meeting of foreign ministers for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Thursday, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf called on Muslim nations to "confront" vessel attacks off the UAE coast that the United States has blamed on Iran with "all means of force and firmness".

The minister said the alleged sabotage of ships and a recent drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline require "more efforts to counter the terrorist acts of extremist and terrorist groups".

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has claimed in a tweet that the drone strike was "ordered by the regime in Tehran, and carried out by the Houthis", but Iran has denied its involvement.

Al-Assaf's call to action comes just a day after US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that "it is clear" that those attacks on four oil tankers in Fujairah earlier this month were "naval mines almost certainly from Iran".

Bolton then continued by saying that additional US troops in the Middle East had been sent to "act as a deterrent".

"The point is to make it very clear to Iran and its surrogates that these kinds of actions risk a very strong response from the United States".

Reacting to Bolton's accusations, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi dismissed them as "ridiculous".

"But, Mr Bolton and other warmongers need to know that the strategic patience, high vigilance and full defence readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which emanates from the strong resolve of its great nation, will not let them fulfill their ominous schemes to create chaos in the region", Mousavi said.

In a parallel development, US President Donald Trump has confirmed Washington's intention to beef up the country's military presence in the Middle East and that the Pentagon will deploy 1,500 more troops in addition to the aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters already dispatched.

2019.05.30 / 15:21
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