US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on July 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP)

October 25, 2019

Iran targeted the Saudi facilities in Aramco in September, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Thursday, reiterating calls to deter the country’s threats.

Esper, who was speaking at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, referred to the drone attacks at several Aramco sites on Sept. 14, saying “Iran threatens international navigation in the Gulf.”

He added the US “does not seek war with Iran, but we are prepared to do so if necessary.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon chief also lashed out at Turkey for its military assault on Syrian Kurdish fighters across the border into Syria, days after the US withdrew its troops from the war-torn country.

Esper says Turkey’s unwarranted invasion into Syria jeopardizes security gains made in recent years as the US-led coalition and allied Syrian Kurdish forces battled the Daesh group.

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the US is lifting sanctions on Turkey after the NATO ally agreed to permanently stop fighting Kurdish forces in Syria. Esper was in Iraq Wednesday to discuss the withdrawal and the Daesh threat with Iraqi leaders and his military commanders.

Reuters/Arab News

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.