Saudis say oil pipeline was attacked by drones, possibly from Yemen

Ann Santiago
Мая 16, 2019

The announcement by the foreign minister comes after a television station run by the Houthi movement said Yemeni rebels had launched drone attacks on Saudi installations, without identifying the targets or time of the attacks.

"One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to Saudi Aramco's customers in the United States", al-Falih said. The stations, targeted around the same time early Tuesday, are located in al-Duadmi and Afif, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Riyadh city and 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Riyadh city, respectively. "Heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and anticipation that the United States and China could still reach an amicable solution to their trade dispute have rendered support to oil prices", said Abhishek Kumar, head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London.

"We are capable of executing unique operations on a bigger and wider scale in the hearts of the enemy countries", they said.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis to try to restore the internationally recognised government ousted from power in late 2014.

Tehran responded to the escalation by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a main artery for global oil shipments linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. The narrow waterway separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

It is worth noting that the attacks came a day after officials in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates claimed four oil tankers were damaged by "sabotage" suspected to have been carried out by Iran or its allied proxies.

Iran's supreme leader issued a veiled threat in the same speech in which he stated that "no one is seeking war", saying it wouldn't be hard for the Islamic Republic to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels amid rising tensions with the USA, state media reported Wednesday.

Earlier on Sunday, Lebanon's pro-Iran satellite channel Al-Mayadeen, quoting "Gulf sources", reported that a series of explosions had struck Fujairah's port.

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But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was forthright in his response - suggesting the country was "too great to be intimidated by anyone".

The Houthi drone attack, the government said, made it necessary for the global community to act and do everything to immediately repulse this "terrorist group" and its supporters.

The US ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind the attacks near Fujairah.

No casualties were reported and none of the vessels sank. "It is easy to throw accusations but it is a hard situation, there are serious issues and among them is Iranian behavior", he said.

Two Saudi oil tankers and a Norwegian-flagged vessel were said to be damaged.

The MT Andrea Victory, another of the allegedly targeted ships, sustained a hole in its hull just above its waterline from "an unknown object", its owner Thome Ship Management said.

It has called for an investigation.

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