Adding to an already fraught situation, the triangle of tension involving US, Iran, and Saudi Arabia added another side Monday when Yemeni Houthis, supported by Iran, executed a drone strike on an airport in Abha, a city in southern Saudi Arabia.
Reuters reported that one person died and seven others were wounded as a result. The attack comes despite the Houthis agreeing to a cease fire demanded by the United Nations late last year.
With Mike Pompeo en route to Saudi Arabia, Iranian naval commander Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi stated that Iran can shoot down more drones that violate Iranian airspace. He was quoted by the Tasnim news agency as saying, "We confidently say that the crushing response can always be repeated, and the enemy knows it." The news may have tempered markets Monday morning, as the major indices opened flat.
Pompeo is in the first stages of a 5-nation tour to meet with Sunni allies of the US. The stated purpose of the trip is to assure the leaders of those countries of US determination in dealing with Iran in the wake of the drone downing incident, and lack of American military retaliation.
Oil retraced Monday after a 5% increase last week amidst US-Iran tension over attacks on tankers in the area. Brent crude was down 46 cents to $64.74, while US crude was down 18 cents to $57.25. Recent events would normally sharpen prices steeply, but due to strong global supply, the response has been softened.
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