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.


Peace is our priority but the world must take a stand against Iran, says Saudi cabinet

Updated 22 May 2019
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Peace is our priority but the world must take a stand against Iran, says Saudi cabinet

  • Saudi cabinet says the international community must take firm action against the regime in Tehran
  • Saudi’s king invites GCC leaders to hold Gulf and Arab summits in Makkah on May 30

JEDDAH: The Saudi cabinet on Tuesday said that while the Kingdom believes all people in the region have a right to live in peace, including the Iranians, the international community must take firm action against the regime in Tehran to prevent it from spreading destruction and chaos.

After a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Assalam Palace, presided over by King Salman, Turki Al-Shabanah, the minister of media, told the Saudi Press Agency that the cabinet reviewed reports on regional and global development, and the king invited GCC leaders to hold Gulf and Arab summits in Makkah on May 30. The invitation reflects the Kingdom’s desire to work with other nations to boost security and stability in the region, the minister said, especially in light of the Iran’s continuing aggressive actions. The regime’s recent activities threaten regional and international peace and security, and the supply and stability of international oil markets, he added.

Al-Shabanah reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to peace and said it will make every effort to prevent war. The nation’s hand is always extended, he added, in the belief that everyone in the region, including the Iranians, has the right to live in a secure and stable environment.

However, the cabinet called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by taking a firm stance against the actions of the regime in Tehran, to prevent its disruptive and destructive activities throughout the world. It also called on Iran to halt the reckless and irresponsible behavior of its agents, to save the region from the dangers they pose and potential repercussions.

The cabinet also expressed the Kingdom’s hopes and expectations that the 14th Ordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, will encourage unity of response to ongoing events in the Islamic world. The summit, chaired by King Salman, will be held in Makkah on May 31 under the title “Makkah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future.”

Ministers heard that the Kingdom has sent $250 million to the Central Bank of Sudan as part of a previously announced package of assistance in partnership with the United Arab Emirates. This latest demonstration of support from the Kingdom to the Sudanese people aims to help stabilize the country’s economy, and strengthen the Sudanese pound in particular, to help improve the lives of the nation’s people.

The cabinet also welcomed the decision of the 14th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee to monitor an oil production reduction agreement concluded in Jeddah, which was headed by the Kingdom and Russia, and affirmed its commitment to balancing the oil market and stabilizing it on a sustainable basis.

Turning to local affairs, the Council of Ministers confirmed the generous support of SR 100 million ($26.7 million) from the king, and SR 30 million from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Jood Housing platform. Launched a day earlier, and supervised by the National Housing Development Association, it aims to accelerate the development process through the introduction of a new model of social solidarity, in which government, charities and commercial entities work together in accordance with regulations designed to provide support for those in need.

The council also discussed the results of the 26th meeting of the region’s governors, and praised the king for his directives designed to preserve security and help people throughout the Kingdom.