Rabat – The two oil pumping stations at Yambu, on the west coast of Saudi Arabia were hit by explosive-laden drones this morning.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) described the incident as a “terrorist attack.”
It appears the attack was carried out by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi group.
Earlier today, Masirah TV, a Houthi Yemeni television station, cited a military official saying that “seven drones carried out attacks on vital Saudi installations.” The targets and time of the attacks were not specified.
The state oil giant Saudi Aramco has stopped pumping oil via the pipeline, while the site is being repaired, but has assured that oil and gas supplies to its clients had not been affected by terrorist attacks.
Saudi Arabia condemned the drone attacks as “cowardly.”
It also condemned the sabotage of four Saudi oil tankers two days ago near UAE territorial waters, and emphasized “the importance of confronting the terrorists who are carrying out these subversive activities, including the Houthi militia backed by Iran in Yemen.”
Tension in the Gulf
Tensions are running high in the Gulf region. The pipeline drone attacks come just two days after four Saudi oil tankers were attacked near UAE territorial waters.
On 12 May, the four Saudi oil tankers were attacked at Fujairah port near UAE territorial waters as part of a “sabotage operations,” suffering “significant damage,” reported Gulf News.
No state has claimed responsibility for the attack. Analysts told Gulf News that they suspected Iran of being behind the operation.
“…[L]ooking closer at the timing and location of the incident shows that Iran is likely behind it,” said Mohammad Abbas Naji, an expert in Iranian affairs at the Cairo-based Al Ahram Strategic Studies Centre.
“These sabotage incidents follow continuous Iranian threats to interrupt oil shipments from the region to the international markets.”
The US responded promptly to the incident. It accused Iran of threatening its interests in the Gulf. “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake,” U.S. President Donald Trump said, reports Forbes.
Iran suggested that “the explosions of Fujairah port could have been carried out by saboteurs from a third country who seek instability in the region,” quoted the Iranian state news agency IRNA.