Saudi Arabia oil stations hit in terror drone attacks

The attacks happened on Tuesday morning. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 15 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia oil stations hit in terror drone attacks

  • Drones attacked two pumping stations in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia
  • Attacks in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia are aimed at the world and not just the Kingdom, Saudi energy minister said

RIYADH: Terrorists have attacked two pumping stations in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning, according to the energy minister Khalid Al-Falih.

Drones attacked two pumping stations of East-West pipeline, which carry Saudi oil from fields in the Eastern Province to the port of Yanbu on the west coast. 

The attacks caused a fire at station number 8, which Al-Falih said was controlled after causing limited damage.

Saudi Aramco later confirmed the attack in a statement, stating that it had “responded to a fire at East West Pipeline Pump station 8 which was caused by a sabotage incident using armed drones which targeted pump stations 8 and 9.”

“As a precautionary measure, the company temporarily shut down the pipeline, and contained the fire which caused minor damage to pump station 8. Saudi Aramco confirms that no injuries or fatalities have been reported. Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas supplies have not been impacted as a result of this incident.”

The Kingdom condemned Tuesday's attack and the recent attacks on ships in the Arabian Gulf, threatening oil output - Al-Falih said the Kingdom saw the attacks as a cowardly act of terror aimed at destruction. 

"Recent attacks in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia are aimed at the world and not just the Kingdom," Al-Falih said, adding: “This attack proves yet again the importance that all sides stand against such destructive terror attacks, including the Iran-backed Houthi militants.” 

On Tuesday, Al-Arabiya ran a statement from a spokesman for the Houthis who said seven drones targeted a pumping station near Yanbu.

The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, condemned the attack saying it posed a serious threat to regional and international security and the global economy.

The Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the League, Ambassador Mahmoud Afifi, quoted Abul-Gheit as saying that the violation of the security of any Arab country is detrimental to Arab national security, stressing full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in the face of these terrorist threats aimed at provoking unrest in the region. He also stressed the need to “strengthen international solidarity to confront these criminal acts.”

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that it was in full solidarity with Saudi Arabia and stood with Riyadh against any threat to the security and stability of the Kingdom, and its citizens and residents, and its support for all measures to confront extremism and terrorism.

The statement added that the security of the UAE and Saudi Arabia is an integral part and that any threat or danger facing the Kingdom is considered by the state as a threat to the UAE’s security and stability system.

An official source at the Kuwaiti foreign ministry confirmed Kuwait’s support for the Kingdom and all measures taken to preserve its security and stability in the face of terrorist acts targeting Saudi Arabia’s security and stability, as well as the entire region.

“This cowardly terrorist act targeted the Kingdom and the region’s security and stability and threatens the safety of the world’s energy supply,” the Bahrain foreign ministry said in a statement issued by Bahrain News Agency.

The ministry praised the Kingdom’s efforts in dealing with this dangerous subversion, stressing “Bahrain’s strong solidarity with Saudi Arabia against anyone trying to threaten its security or harm its interests.”

It also stressed the need for the international community to act decisively to confront all groups and terrorist organizations and the countries that support them with the aim of seeking to provoke tension, violence and chaos in the region, in order to maintain regional and international peace and security.

The Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement that Egypt was in solidarity with the government and the people of Saudi Arabia in confronting all attempts to undermine its security and stability, stressing their brotherly ties, established relations and coordination at the highest level in order to face common challenges and address terrorism.

Sufian Al-Qudah, spokesperson for the Jordanian foreign ministry, said that Jordan condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack" in the strongest terms and confirmed its stand with its brothers in Saudi Arabia in the face of any threat to the Kingdom’s security and stability.

He said in a press statement that targeting the Kingdom’s security meant targeting the security of the region and the world, noting that Jordan supported all actions and measures to maintain Saudi Arabia’s security and address terrorism in all forms and depictions.

He also stressed that the security of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Gulf and Jordan is one, stressing Jordan’s full solidarity with Kingdom and its confidence in their ability to protect their security and stability

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his country's support to the Kingdom, the king, government and people, stressing his confidence that Saudi Arabia will be able to overcome this crisis with determination and power. 

Yemen also condemned in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attack.

In a statement issued by the Yemeni news agency Saba, the Yemeni Republic affirmed its stand with the Kingdom in the face of any threat to its security and stability.

The statement pointed out that the approach adopted by the terrorist Houthi organization, since its inception, reflects Tehran's plans to destabilize security and stability and spread chaos in the Middle East, which is vital for the global economy.

"The targeting of Saudi Arabia by the Houthi terrorist militia with direct incitement from Iran can not be tolerated and constitutes a blatant violation of all peace efforts and threatens the collapse of all United Nations endeavors in Yemen," the statement said.

"Yemen is a leadership, a government and a people that renounces this disgraceful act of an outlawed group that has deviated from the values and morals of the Yemeni people, sold itself to the Iranian regime and has become a puppet in Yemen affirmed its support for the Kingdom, saying the continuation of such violations places the international community without exception in its collective responsibility in confronting this terrorist group and those behind it.

Tunisia, in a statement also expressed its "condemnation of this subversive action and reiterates its full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in all measures taken to safeguard its security, territorial integrity and facilities."

Oil prices rose after the attacks. Brent crude futures were at $70.79 a barrel at 1035 GMT.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.