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The situation in the Middle East has continued heating up following the weekend strikes on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.
According to Syrian sources, on September 16 and September 17 mysterious explosions happened at positions of Iranian-backed forces in the area of al-Bukamal at the Syrian-Iraqi border. Pro-Israeli sources immediately linked the development with the supposed military activity of Israel and the US against Iran-linked targets in the region.
Over the past months, a number of similar explosions have happened at positions of Iranian-linked militias in Syria and Iraq. However, there is still no evidence to confirm Israeli involvement in these incidents.
On September 17, Vice President Pence repeated Donald Trump threats claiming that the US is “locked and loaded” to defend its allies. Pence noted that it “looks like” Iran was responsible for the attack, but said the U.S. intelligence community was working to confirm the details.
The US Transportation Command announced a start of “large-scale sealift readiness exercise Sept. 16, as part of its Turbo Activation exercise series, ordering dozens of ships to sea.” The Turbo Activation involving 28 ships of the Ready Reserve Force is the biggest since the invasion in Iraq in 2003.
The large-scale campaign to blame Iran for the Yemeni Houthis’ attack on Saudi Arabia continues in mainstream media.
Saudi and US investigators have determined “with very high probability” that the September 14 attack on the Saudi oil industry was launched from an Iranian base in Iran close to the border with Iraq, CNN claimed on September 17 citing “a source familiar with the investigation.” According to CNN claims, the trajectory of cruise missiles flying at low altitude was from the north of the Abqaiq complex.
It should be noted that Iran has strongly denounced all speculations that it was somehow involved in the attack.
If the CNN-provided version would be adopted by the US and Saudi Arabia on the official level, this would mean a new round of escalation in the Middle East. The escalation that may lead to a large regional war.