US-Iran tensions escalate after a drone attack in Saudi Arabia

The drone strike targeted the world’s largest oil processing facility, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility.
2:49 | 09/16/19

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Transcript for US-Iran tensions escalate after a drone attack in Saudi Arabia
Also developing tonight, tensions mounting between the U.S. And Iran after a devastating drone strike in Saudi Arabia. The drone strike hitting the world's largest oil processing facility. You can see the fire burning in the sky, knocking out roughly half of Saudi's oil production. Rebels in Yemen claiming responsibility. But Mike Pompeo wasted no time pointing a finger directly at Iran. Officials saying the drone as well as cruise missiles were launched from Iran. Here's Stephanie Ramos. Reporter: Tonight, tensions escalating amid fears over the state of the global oil supply after the attack that's been called "Unprecedented." One by one, drones flying into the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil kingdom, launched just before dawn Saturday. Two key facilities targeted, including one of the world's largest oil processing plants. You could see the thick plume of smoke from space. Yemen's houthi rebel group backed by Iran claiming responsibility, but the U.S. Is blaming Iran itself. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo tweeting, "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." A senior administration official telling ABC news not only did Iran use 20 drones but also cruise missiles. These images showing what the facilities looked like before and after the attacks. This was a major escalation by the Iranians and their houthi surrogates. They had attacked things like oil pipelines in the past, but this oil infrastructure is much more difficult to rebuild and will take more time. Reporter: Iran denying they had anything to do with the attacks. Their foreign minister mocking Pompeo, saying, the U.S. Having failed at max pressure is now turning to max deceit. The trump administration previously accusing Iran of attacks on two oil tankers following the president's decision to reinstate crippling sanctions after he abandoned the landmark nuclear deal. President trump calling the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, offering support for Saudi Arabia's self-defense. Saudi aramco, the state owned oil giant, now working to restore production on 5.7 million barrels of crude oil that was suspended after the incident, which is roughly 5% of world oil production. The real question is, what does the U.S. Do in response? Reporter: Oil prices have already started to rise as markets have just reopened. It's estimated to take weeks to get to full oil production at the facility. President trump just tweeting a few moments ago that he has authorized the release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve if needed.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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