Explosive-laden drones attacked oil facilities near capital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia says

Riyadh, May 14: Saudi Arabia has on Tuesday said explosive-laden drones struck its oil pumping station in the capital Riyadh, what it described an act of terrorism, two days after two Saudi Arabia’s oil tankers were sabotaged off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) coast.

According to Reuters news reports, the world’s largest oil exporter’s energy minister stated the attacks over two oil stations had failed to disrupt crude oil and petroleum products’ exports and oil production.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was quoted by state-run media as saying the two recent attacks over Saudi’s oil has threatened the global oil market and showed the need to counter “terrorist groups behind such destructive acts”, also including the Houthi militants, backed by Iran, in war-hit Yemen.

On Tuesday, Houthi-run Masirah TV cited a military official as saying the Houthi launched some drone attacks over “vital Saudi installations”. A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition, for the past four years, has been fighting against the Houthis in Yemen.

The recent attack and actions against Saudi commercial vessels off the UAE coast on Sunday occurred as Iran and the United States exchanged held words war over American sanctions and military presence in the area.

However, the UAE did not reveal any information over the nature of the act on vessels near Fujairah, a bunkering hub lying just outside the Strait of Hormouz.

Tehran was blamed as a prime suspect in the vessel’s sabotage on Sunday, although the US had no proof, according to a US official having knowledge with American intelligence stated on Monday.

Iran has refused any involvement and called the attack on the four Saudi vessels as “worrisome and dreadful”, also it has called for an investigation into the matter.

The US envoy to Saudi stated Washington need to take what he described “reasonable response short of war” after it determined who was behind the sabotage near Fujairah.

“We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war,” Ambassador John Abizaid told reporters in the Saudi capital Riyadh in remarks published on Tuesday.

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