U.S. Gathers Evidence on Strikes Against Saudi Oil Facilities

(New York Times) Eric Schmitt - American analysts are poring over satellite imagery, assessing radar tracks of the cruise missiles, and reviewing communication intercepts to determine the origin of the strikes against Saudi oil facilities on Saturday. Forensics specialists are also examining circuit boards recovered by the Saudis from one of the cruise missiles that fell short of its target. One theory gaining traction among American officials is that the cruise missiles were launched from Iran and programmed to fly around the northern Persian Gulf through Iraqi air space instead of directly across the gulf where the U.S. has much better surveillance, one senior official said. In the hours before the attacks, American intelligence detected unusual activity at military bases in southwest Iran that would be consistent with preparations for strikes, another senior American official said. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have presented President Trump with an array of military options in response. Officials voiced worry about the cost of doing nothing.

2019-09-18 00:00:00

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