Inspectors seek ‘smoking gun’ evidence that Iran carried out attack on Saudi oil facilities

BEIRUT — Weapons experts are inspecting GPS systems recovered from the Sept. 14 missile and drone strike on Saudi Arabian oil facilities for evidence that could reveal their origin and flight path, people familiar with the investigation said.

Officials in Riyadh and Washington have blamed Iran for the attacks and are searching for “smoking gun” evidence. They say they can’t galvanize world support for their view unless they can draw a clear link back to Tehran, which has denied any role in the attacks.

The GPS systems could allow investigators to trace the drones and missiles back to their runways and launchers, which Saudi and American officials believe were in Iran. Inspectors from around the world—including the U.S., France and the United Nations—are scrutinizing pieces of the weapons from the attacks, which temporarily knocked out half of Saudi oil production and rattled the global economy.

The GPS examination is part of a more expansive investigation that includes efforts to trace serial numbers of the weapons used in the attacks back to their origin. The probe is going forward as Washington and Riyadh weigh a response to the attack.

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