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


Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.



In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The audience watched the parade from specially built stands. (Supplied)

 

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.