A national defense analyst believes a full-blown regional conflict in the Middle East could be in the works.
Washington is weighing options on how to respond to the recent drone and missile strike on Saudi Arabia's oil industry that shook global energy markets. Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, though the U.S. believes Iran was actually behind it. In response, Iran's top diplomat has sent out a warning that any attack on Iran by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia will spark an "all-out war."
OneNewsNow has noted Saudi Arabia's military budget of $76.7 billion, ranking its military fifth, behind Iran, among Middle East countries. So Bob Maginnis, author of Progressive Evil and a senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council (FRC), says the Saudis should lead any response to the attack.
"I'm sure the Saudis are aware of their responsibility, but they don't want to do it alone, and so they're trying to build a coalition to be assisting here," he explains. "I can understand that; that's important. So you want to be careful before you retaliate unless you have an appropriate number of people to assist."
While the appropriate response may be an eye for an eye, Maginnis warns that this could escalate into a fairly significant conflict.
"I think it could certainly go to something that is tantamount to a regional conflict," he tells OneNewsNow. "You already have Saudis and Iranians shooting at one another in Yemen, though it's through proxies. So it's already a war in terms of maybe below the level that people often associate with war, but it's an insurgency that's been happening for years and years."
"So I don't really see that it's something to be surprised about that could blow up into something fairly significant, and we have to be aware of that," the national defense analyst concludes.