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


Saudi labor minister urges Kingdom to increase economic role of charity sector

Updated 12 min 23 sec ago

Saudi labor minister urges Kingdom to increase economic role of charity sector

  • Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi said: “Our effort is to increase the share of the non-profit sector in GDP”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia needed to increase the contribution of the non-profit sector to the Kingdom’s economic and social development, the country’s labor minister told business conference delegates on Thursday.

Moderating a session on the subject during the final day of the Riyadh Economic Forum (REF), Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi said: “Our effort is to increase the share of the non-profit sector in GDP.”

Describing the non-profit sector as the third pillar of sustainable economic development, the minister pointed out that in developed countries its average contribution toward GDP had reached 6 percent.

Referring to a REF study on the sector, he noted that it was only during the last decade that the Kingdom had come to realize its important role in economic development, social participation, job creation, and promoting the culture of teamwork.

“The non-profit sector contributes to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by one percent and our effort is to increase the share,” Al-Rajhi told the session’s attendees.

Presenting the REF study, Yousef bin Othman Al-Huzeim, secretary-general of Al-Anoud Charitable Foundation, said: “This sector, together with its substantial developmental roles, has become a criterion for the overall progress of nations and a yardstick of their civilization and humanitarian activity rather than a mere indicator of individuals’ income.”

He added that the sector had a key part to play in helping to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of achieving sustainable development through diversification, and that the aim was to raise its level of contribution to the country’s GDP from 1 percent to 5 percent by 2030.

The study stressed the need to transform the sector from a mere initiative into an institutional entity concerned with social investment and integration, in cooperation with the public and private sectors.

Among its key findings, the study highlighted the requirement to increase the awareness of sector employees and supervising agencies about the development needs of society.

A lack of detailed information on the non-profit sector in the Kingdom was also having a negative effect on the extent of its contribution to economic and social development, the study found.

The media too had failed to give enough coverage to the sector and rules and regulations often stood in the way of any expansion in individual and community partnerships through charities and trusts.

Princess Nouf bint Mohammed Al-Saud, CEO of the King Khalid Foundation (KKF), said women were the most important enablers of the non-profit sector.

Currently, the most prominent development was the system of NGOs and philanthropic associations, and the stimulation of the sector to implement good governance, she added.

The princess urged the lifting of restrictions on money transfers to the non-profit sector and tax exemptions on charities and donations.

The KKF had issued a number of regulations to help the non-profit sector, she said, but there was still a need for the creation of more executive programs in order to realize Vision 2030 goals.

Rajaa bin Manahi Al-Marzouqi, a professor of economics at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies, in Riyadh, said: “If we look at any economy, it consists of three important sectors, which are the government, private, and non-profit sectors. There is a need to develop the non-profit sector in such a way that it sustains in the long run and contributes to socio-economic development.”