Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry displays Iranian drones, cruise missiles used in Aramco attacks

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Weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia at the Defense Ministry press conference about Iranian involvement in Saturday's Aramco attacks. (AFP
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Weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia at the Defense Ministry press conference about Iranian involvement in Saturday's Aramco attacks. (AN photo)
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Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the investigation so far has proved that the attack was not launched from Yemen. (AN photo)
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Weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia at the Defense Ministry press conference about Iranian involvement in Saturday's Aramco attacks. (AN photo)
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Weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia at the Defense Ministry press conference about Iranian involvement in Saturday's Aramco attacks. (Reuters)
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Weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia at the Defense Ministry press conference about Iranian involvement in Saturday's Aramco attacks. (Reuters)
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Weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia at the Defense Ministry press conference about Iranian involvement in Saturday's Aramco attacks. (Reuters)
Updated 20 September 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry displays Iranian drones, cruise missiles used in Aramco attacks

  • Defense ministry spokesman says attacks were “unquestionably” sponsored by Iran
  • Investigations are still underway to pinpoint the exact launch location, but definitely not yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia displayed Iranian drones and cruise missiles that it said were used in an attack against Aramco facilities at the weekend.

The attacks were “unquestionably” sponsored by Iran but investigations are still underway to pinpoint the exact launch location, defense ministry spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said at a news conference in Riyadh.

However he said that the strikes came from  north of the targets and not from Yemen, where Houthi militants claimed they had been launched from on Saturday. 

“The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran," he told a news conference. “The evidence ... that you have seen in front of you, makes this undeniable.”

“The precision impact of the cruise missile indicates advanced capability beyond the capacity of Iran’s proxies. The targeting direction of the site indicates a north-to-south direction of travel.”

Eighteen drones and three missiles were launched against Abqaiq, the location of the world’s largest oil-processing facility, but the missiles “fell short” of the target, Al-Maliki said. A further four missiles targeted the Khurais oil field, he added.




The defense ministry showed how many drones (UAV) and cruise missiles (LACM) hit each of the two Aramco sites on Saturday. (Screengrab)Caption

The Ya Ali missiles, which have a range of 700 kilometers, are known to have been used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, he said.

UN experts have already traveled to Saudi Arabia to investigate the attacks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. He warned of “devastating” consequences should the crisis escalate.

Earlier, the Saudi ambassador to London said Iran was almost certainly behind the attacks on an oil processing facility and an oil field that cut the Kingdom’s oil production by half. 

The US has blamed Iran for the attacks and officials told Reuters that they originated in south-western Iran and involved cruise missiles and drones.

Iran-backed Houthi militants initially claimed they had carried out the attack from Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is part of a coalition supporting government forces fighting the militia. 

*With Reuters


Russian culture festival launched in Riyadh

Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Felix Korobov during its concert in Riyadh. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj )
Updated 9 min 9 sec ago

Russian culture festival launched in Riyadh

  • “Russian Culture in Riyadh” will also feature a Russian Cinema Week, beginning Tuesday, screening 10 classic, animated and modern Russian films selected specifically for a Saudi audience

RIYADH: The Moscow-based Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra inaugurated the “Russian Culture in Riyadh” festival with a concert featuring opera stars and music conducted by Felix Korobov.
The event was held at the King Fahd Cultural Center on Monday. The Saudi Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), organized performances, exhibitions and movie screenings to celebrate Russian culture and ties between the two countries.
The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, established in 1930, was founded as the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra and has played all over the world.
Soprano Aida Garifullina and bass Ildar Abdrazakov took to the stage in Riyadh in what was an exciting night for many first-time opera goers, with music from famed composers Mikhail Glinka and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
The concert began with excerpts from Glinka’s “Ruslan and Lyudmila” and, as the night went on, there were performances of “Tsaritsa of Shemakha” from the opera “The Golden Cockerel” by Rimsky-Korsakov, and “Song of the Varangian Guest” also from the Rimsky-Korsakov-composed opera “Sadko.”
“It was moving, beyond all expectations,” 24 year-old private sector worker Mohammed Al-Dossari told Arab News.  “I heard about the magnificence of Russian opera and the symphony (orchestra) but to have it come to our doorstep is exciting. The music takes you to another place, it’s calming and yet moving at the same time, a heady combination.”
Saudi and Russian guests and dignitaries enjoyed more than an hour of spectacular performances, with people cheering at the end of the show.
The celebration of Russian culture also features the work of Vasily Kandinsky, who is widely acknowledged as one of the fathers of abstract art and whose paintings are exhibited in the world’s top museums and galleries. The artwork is from St. Petersburg’s State Russian Museum.
Another exhibition, “Artificial Intelligence and Intercultural Dialogue,” showcases the works of 14 artists from 10 countries that explore the artistic possibilities of artificial intelligence.
“Russian Culture in Riyadh” will also feature a Russian Cinema Week, beginning Tuesday, screening 10 classic, animated and modern Russian films selected specifically for a Saudi audience.