Saudi Arabia oil stations hit in terror drone attacks

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

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 ban remains on 20 countries when flights resume on May 17

Saudi ban remains on 20 countries when flights resume on May 17
Updated 38 min 45 sec ago

Saudi ban remains on 20 countries when flights resume on May 17

Saudi ban remains on 20 countries when flights resume on May 17
  • Health Ministry reports 1,028 new coronavirus cases, 824 recoveries, 12 deaths

JEDDAH: The resumption of international flights at 1 a.m. on May 17 will exclude the 20 countries where the ban on flights continues as part of preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), said Saudia airline.
The banned countries, named by the Ministry of Interior, are: Argentina, the UAE, Germany, the US, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the UK, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India and Japan.
The clarification came in response to a citizen’s query about whether the travel suspensions will continue.
Noncitizens, diplomats, health practitioners and their families traveling from the listed countries have been denied entry to the Kingdom since Feb. 3. The ban applies to arriving passengers who have passed through any of the prohibited countries in the 14 days prior to their application to enter the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Education employees who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are to be identified and put on a list, Saudi online newspaper Ajel reported.
The decision is part of official efforts to ensure a swift return to normal schooling, while safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff.
Education Minister Hamad Al-Asheikh previously called on ministry employees to arrange for vaccination in time for the start of the coming academic year.
Saudi authorities on Wednesday reported 12 additional deaths related to COVID-19. The death toll now stands at 6,858. The Ministry of Health reported 1,028 new cases, meaning that 408,038 people have contracted the disease, of which 9,818 remain active.
It said 431 of the new cases were in Riyadh, 220 in Makkah, 157 in the Eastern Province and 45 in Madinah. Another 824 patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 391,362.
Saudi Arabia has conducted 16,352,116 PCR tests, including 58,507 in the previous 24 hours.
Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive coronavirus vaccine shots, with 7,537,798 people having been inoculated so far.


DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor

DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor
Updated 22 April 2021

DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor

DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor

Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz called on Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif on the occasion of the end of his diplomatic duty in Riyadh.
The governor welcomed the ambassador at a reception, and they talked about the good relations between the two countries and various ways to further enhance mutual cooperation, said the Pakistani Embassy.
Ejaz thanked Prince Saud for the warm hospitality extended to him, and expressed his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for rendering all assistance to Pakistani expatriates during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The ambassador also thanked Prince Saud for his support, and for looking after Pakistani expatriates residing in the province. “The Pakistani populace was very happy under the governor’s kind patronage,” Ejaz told Arab News.
Prince Saud praised the Pakistani community for being loyal and hard-working, and said the two countries and peoples have cemented an unbreakable bond of friendship.
He expressed certainty that bilateral relations will continue to grow, wishing Ejaz well for his future assignments and looking forward to maintaining contact.
Offering his thanks to all those who helped him carry out his work successfully, Ejaz said Saudi Arabia is a wonderful country in which he had a wonderful experience serving his compatriots.
He added that his successful stint in the Kingdom was mainly due to the continuous cooperation received from the Saudi government, the private sector and his colleagues.


NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals

NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals
Updated 22 April 2021

NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals

NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • The initiatives were launched to celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day
  • Department will work alongside MiSK Leadership, CyberX and Digital Giving programs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s NEOM, a futuristic $500 billion megacity development, announced on Wednesday that it has launched three initiatives represented by the Social Responsibility Department.
The initiatives aim to support the sustainable development goals, celebrate the World Creativity and Innovation Day, and encourage the participation of the local community in developing innovative solutions that would support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The department said that it will work alongside the MiSK Leadership, CyberX and Digital Giving programs, and with the University of Tabuk and the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, to launch these initiatives.
The first initiative is represented in the third batch of the Spark initiative and includes an innovative six-week training program designed to enhance the spirit of entrepreneurship among Saudi youth, the department said in a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency.
It introduces participants to the critical steps involved in starting a business and supports them with the necessary tools to form bright business ideas. From there, participants can turn them into vivid and realistic businesses for a sustainable future, in order for them to be able to present them to investors later.
The program is in support of the Kingdom’s drive to increase the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in driving economic growth.
Last year, two batches of the program were successfully launched, benefiting 300 graduates, including 10 winners who passed the final round of Spark Tank.
The second initiative is the NEOM Generation Innovation Challenge, which will be held in partnership with the Industrial and Robot Innovation Center at the University of Tabuk. It involves challenging students from all over the Kingdom to present their ideas in the fields of water, energy, media, entertainment, transportation, health and food.
The ideas and their solutions must be centralized using artificial intelligence (AI) systems and be implementable in NEOM’s corresponding sectors. The participants will be evaluated based on their creativity, AI integration, and the extent to which their ideas align with NEOM’s approaches.
The third initiative is the CyberX Bootcamps, a non-profit platform for electronic awareness and digital knowledge under the supervision of the Digital Giving initiative. A training camp on AI and machine learning for youth will be held.
The department said it will spread awareness of the SDGs and provide opportunities for the local community to learn and gain important knowledge on sustainable development through quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and societies, as well as partnerships to achieve the goals.


Saudi aviation authority tightens COVID-19 controls at airports

The General Authority of Civil Aviation calls on everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 preventative measures. (SPA)
The General Authority of Civil Aviation calls on everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 preventative measures. (SPA)
Updated 22 April 2021

Saudi aviation authority tightens COVID-19 controls at airports

The General Authority of Civil Aviation calls on everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 preventative measures. (SPA)
  • GACA introduced screening points and appointed observers to ensure measures are fully implemented

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority, in cooperation with security services, has stepped up inspections and control visits to airports and other authority buildings and facilities to monitor violations of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has also introduced screening points to measure temperatures or check health data through the Tawakkalna app. It has also appointed a protocol officer for each facility and more than 250 observers to ensure that precautionary measures are fully implemented and followed.
In addition, GACA said it has increased educational awareness messages, and told businesses and other organizations operating in airports to adhere to health precautions.
GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duaij stressed the importance of continuing to adhere to safety protocols set by the Ministry of Health — including wearing face masks at all times, continuous sterilization efforts, procedures to prevent overcrowding, and maintaining social distancing — and warned against complacency.
He said that only individuals registered with the Tawakkalna app will be allowed entry to authority buildings. He urged everyone to follow “the recommended health measures in order to preserve the gains achieved in combating the coronavirus” in the Kingdom which, he added, would not have been achieved without “the generous support from the Saudi leadership that placed citizens’ health and safety first and foremost.”
GACA added that it is working with the Ministry of Health to implement precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus at airports, and has put in place a package of health measures that meet global health and safety standards.


Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan

Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan
Updated 21 April 2021

Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan

Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has delivered a special medical aid package worth $1.5 million to help combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pakistan.
The consignment was officially handed over — on behalf of the center — by the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, to Akhtar Nawaz, chairman of the Pakistani National Disaster Management Authority, at the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad.
Items included 25,000 sterile surgical suits, 125,000 nonsterile surgical suits, 188,000 KN95 masks, 1,925,000 surgical masks, 9,500 nitrile gloves, and 46 respirators.
Nawaz thanked KSrelief for the medical equipment which he said would help his country’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, supports numerous health programs around the world aimed at tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.