GCC chief joins condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco Shaybah gas plant 

Operations were uninterrupted at the plant in Shaybah after the attack. (Reuters/File photo)
Updated 18 August 2019

GCC chief joins condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco Shaybah gas plant 

  • Aramco said the attack caused a small fire but that there were no injuries
  • Abdullatif Al-Zayani said the attack 'threatens security and stability in the region'

JEDDAH: The head of the GCC condemned on Sunday a Houthi attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant.

The militants claimed 10 drones struck the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant near the border with the UAE.

Aramco said the attack caused a small fire but that there were no injuries and operations were uninterrupted.

GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said the attack was a “cowardly act that threatens security and stability in the region.”

“The targeting of oil facilities in the Kingdom reveals the malicious goals harming the global energy supply,” he said.

He called on the international community to condemn the Houthi’s attacks.

The militants, who are based in Yemen and backed by Iran, have previously used crude kamikaze drones laden with explosives to target infrastructure in the Kingdom.

In May, the Houthis attacked two oil pumping stations with drones but caused no disruption to operations.

They have also repeatedly targeted Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport, including a strike in June that killed a Syrian and wounded 21 others.

The attack on Saturday was widely condemned, including by the UAE. 

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih said the attack was not only aimed at Saudi Arabia “but also against the global economy.”

The Houthis sparked the conflict in Yemen when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014. An Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, intervened in 2015 in support of the internationally recognized government.


Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

Updated 54 min 6 sec ago

Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

  • US official says all options, including a military response, are on the table
  • Washington blames Iran for the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field

RIYADH: Iran provided the weapons used to strike two Saudi Aramco facilities in the Kingdom, the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen said Tuesday.

“The investigation is continuing and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran,” coalition spokesman Turki Al-Maliki told reporters in Riyadh, adding they were now probing “from where they were fired.”

The coalition supports the Yemen government in the war against the Iran-backed Houthi militants, which claimed they had carried out the attack on Saturday.

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US officials have said Iran was behind the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field, and that the raid did not come from Yemen, but from the other direction.

“This strike didn't come from Yemen territory as the Houthi militia are pretending,” Maliki said, adding that an investigation was ongoing into the attacks and their origins.

The Houthis have carried out scores of attacks against Saudi Arabia using drones and ballistic missiles.

Al-Maliki labelled the Houthis “a tool in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the terrorist regime of Iran.”

The attacks against Abqaiq, the world's largest oil processing facility, and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia knocked out nearly half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

Crude prices rocketed on Monday by more than 10 percent.

Iran has denied involvement, something Trump questioned Sunday in a tweet saying “we'll see?”

A satellite image of Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais. (US Government/DigitalGlobe/ via Reuters)

On Sunday, the US president raised the possibility of military retaliation after the strikes, saying Washington was “locked and loaded” to respond.

The US has offered a firm response in support of its ally, and is considering increasing its intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia as a result of the attack, Reuters reported.

A US official told AP that all options, including a military response, were on the table, but added that no decisions had been made.

The US government late Monday produced satellite photos showing what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at the oil processing plant at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field. Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.

Iraq said the attacks were not launched from its territory and on Sunday Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told him that Washington possesses information that backs up the Iraqi government’s denial.

Condemnation of the attacks continued from both within Saudi Arabia and from around the world.

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council called Tuesday for concerted efforts to hold those behind the attacks accountable.

Meanwhile, the UN’s special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais had consequences well beyond the region and risked dragging Yemen into a “regional conflagration.”