Saudi Arabia oil stations hit in terror drone attacks

The attacks happened on Tuesday morning. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 15 May 2019

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.


Saudi Arabia’s Mawid smartphone app offers coronavirus self-assessment

Updated 03 April 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Mawid smartphone app offers coronavirus self-assessment

  • Mawid helps users book appointments at 2,400 health care centers in Saudi Arabia
  • The service provided by Mawid is free of charge

The Saudi Health Ministry has introduced a self-assessment feature on its Mawid smartphone app amid the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), offering a consultation window for the public.

The feature includes a list of questions, guidelines and instructions based on the users’ recent travel history and their symptoms.

“Importantly, if you suspect you have COVID-19 symptoms, please download the Mawid app and use the self-assessment tool to get guidance,” said Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

Consultation services have been provided for half-a-million people by the Health Ministry and around 250,000 self-assessment tests have been made through its Mawid app.

Mawid helps users book appointments at 2,400 health care centers in the Kingdom. The application follows the “Central Appointment System” that allows them to manage their referral appointments.

Launched in 2019, the app was launched as part of the ministry’s plan to implement digital transformation through technology.

The service provided by Mawid is free of charge. Once the user has downloaded the app, they will be required to sign in with their Absher username and password.

The user will be taken to another window and will be required to fill out the required information, where they will be able to see a self-assessment banner that takes them to a survey.

When the user has finished the assessment, they will receive guidance according to their symptoms.

Pakistani expat Talha Mohammad has been using the app to book appointments for his son’s vaccinations. “It is a really good app, and easy to use,” he said, adding: “The best part is that they send you reminders repeatedly which is perfect since I have trouble remembering appointments.”

Saudi citizen Fatimah Ahmed used the app for COVID-19 self-assessment with the help of her eldest daughter. “We went through the self-assessment process, answered the given questions and were given tips to follow.”

She was told to rest assured and visit the ministry’s COVID-19 guide for more information. “It is a good tool for other features, such as booking appointments and whatnot. However, I am very paranoid about the virus and when it comes to health, I am old-fashioned and prefer physical checkups to smart apps.”

The Mawid app is available for both Android and iOS.