Saudi Newspaper, Owned by MBS' Brother, Urges U.S. 'Surgical Strikes' on Iran

Newspaper's publisher is the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, a company that had long been chaired by various sons of King Salman until 2014 and is regarded as reflecting official position

A state-aligned Saudi newspaper is calling for "surgical" U.S. strikes in retaliation against alleged threats from Iran.

Image of Arab News editorial calling for U.S. to strike Iran
Screen shot

The Arab News published an editorial in English on Thursday, arguing that after incidents this week against Saudi energy targets, the next logical step "should be surgical strikes."

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The editorial says U.S. airstrikes in Syria, when the government there was suspected of using chemical weapons against civilians, "set a precedent."

It added that it's "clear that [U.S.] sanctions are not sending the right message" and that Iran "must be hit hard," without elaborating on what specific targets should be struck.

Saudi Arabia oil pipeline attacked by armed drones

The newspaper's publisher is the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, a company that had long been chaired by various sons of King Salman until 2014 and is regarded as reflecting official position. Turki bin Salman al Saud owns the group and is the brother of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister on Thursday accused Iran of ordering an attack on Saudi oil pumping stations which Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militia claimed responsibility for.

The attack "proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran's regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda," tweeted Prince Khalid bin Salman, a son of King Salman.

"The terrorist acts, ordered by the regime in Tehran, and carried out by the Houthis, are tightening the noose around the ongoing political efforts."

The Houthis, who have been battling a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen for four years, said they carried out Tuesday's drone strikes against the East-West pipeline, which caused a fire but Riyadh said did not disrupt output or exports.

Other Saudi officials fired off similar tweets, ratcheting up pressure on the kingdom's regional archenemy amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran over sanctions and a U.S. military presence in the Gulf.

"The Houthis are an integral part of the Revolutionary Guard forces of Iran and follow their orders, as proven by them targeting installations in the kingdom," Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir tweeted.

The ambassador to Yemen followed up, writing that the Houthis had "made Yemen a platform for Iranian terrorism against Yemenis and their interests, and a tool to attack Saudi Arabia."

The coalition, which receives arms and intelligence from Western nations, carried out airstrikes on Thursday in and around the Houthi-held capital, Sanaa. It intervened in 2015 to restore Yemen's internationally recognised government.

The drone attack happened two days after four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged by sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The other ships were a Norwegian-registered oil products tanker and a UAE-flagged bunker barge.

Reuters contributed to this article