Iran-backed militants use explosive-laden drones to damage major Saudi oil pipeline just one day after US-bound tankers were sabotaged – The Sun

Iran-backed militants use explosive-laden drones to damage major Saudi oil pipeline just one day after US-bound tankers were sabotaged – The Sun

May 14, 2019

SAUDI Arabia said drones armed with explosives flown by Iranian backed rebels in Yemen struck two oil pumping stations in what it called a "cowardly" act of terrorism.

The attack comes just after the United States said Iran used explosives to sabotage Saudi oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said the drone attack took place at the Aramco stations 200 miles west of the capital Riyadh and caused a fire and minor damage at one station.

But he said it did not disrupt oil production or exports of crude and petroleum products.

"These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran," Falih said in a statement issued by his ministry.

Houthi-run Masirah TV earlier said the group had launched drone attacks on "vital" Saudi installations in response to "continued aggression and blockade" on Yemen.

The Houthis have repeatedly launched drone and missile attacks on Saudi cities, but two Saudi sources said this was the first time an Aramco facility was hit by drones.

The ELINT News security website tweeted that the drones were of the Iranian made Qasef-1 type.

State-run Aramco said it had temporarily shut down the East-West pipeline, known as Petroline, to evaluate its condition.

The crucial 750 mile pipeline transports five million barrels of crude a day from the kingdom’s eastern fields to the sea.


The attacks on the tankers and the pipeline have sent the global benchmark Brent crude oil price up 1.6 per cent.

Donald Trump recently called for the OPEC group of oil producing nations to increase output in order to keep prices down.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in 2015 to support the Yemeni government against Houthi rebels, in a war that has left around 10,000 people dead.

A US official has said Iran used explosives to blow huge holes in four ships including two Saudi oil tankers – anchored in the Persian Gulf.

The ships now reportedly have ruptures measuring up to ten foot across  in their hulls as a result of  Sunday's sabotage attacks.

The ships were targeted near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates – with one of the tankers due to be loaded with Saudi crude oil bound for the US.

A Washington-based official told the Associated Press that an American military team's initial assessment indicated Iran or its allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

Pentagon had already warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region.

America is now deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged, still-unspecified threats from Tehran.

Source: Read Full Article