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Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure targeted in drone attack

Drones are increasingly being weaponized and used in the war in Yemen

PortandTerminal.com, May 13, 2019

There are reports that armed drones were used to attack two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday (May 13, 2019). The latest attack comes two days after the attack on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, the circumstances surrounding which are still murky.

The attack on the pipeline is significant because it represents one of the ways Saudi Arabia is able to send oil abroad without using the Strait of Hormuz.

“This is an attack targeting an alternative route to the Hormuz Strait,” said Anas Alhajji, an adviser to oil companies and producer countries. “It cannot be a random attack, this is a very sophisticated operation that requires knowledge and planning.”

The Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement that the drone strikes caused minor damage to one of the stations supplying a pipeline running from its oil-rich Eastern Province to the Yanbu Port on the Red Sea.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih

“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,” he added in the statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

How do they explain the Houthi drones being able to reach that far into KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)? Those drones have a 150km range but they’re 1000km from the border there!

Although the Houthis are backed by Iran, it was unclear whether the attacks were related to increasing tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said seven drones carried out the strikes on the Saudi oil installations.

“It was a successful operation. We found assistance from people living in Saudi Arabia, and we had excellent intelligence,” Saree said.

“This large military operation is in response to the continued aggression and blockade of our people and we are prepared to carry out more unique and harsh strikes,” Al Masirah cited one Houthi official as saying.

The Houthis have repeatedly launched drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and claimed to have launched strikes on the UAE.

Her bruised eyes still swollen shut, Buthaina Muhammad Mansour, believed to be four or five, doesn’t yet know that her parents, five siblings and uncle were killed when an air strike flattened their home in Yemen’s capital Photo:Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

The conflict in Yemen is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis deny being puppets of Iran and say their revolution is against corruption.

Yemen’s conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians.

The fighting has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with 24.1 million people – more than two-thirds of the population – in need of aid.

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