Saudi oil facilities near Riyadh attacked

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infograph - Saudi Gazette



RIYADH — Saudi Arabia said explosive-laden drones had struck oil pumping stations in the Riyadh region on Tuesday in what it called an act of terrorism two days after Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the attack on two oil pumping stations had not disrupted oil production or exports of crude and petroleum products.

He said the two recent attacks threatened global oil supplies and proved the need to counter “terrorist groups behind such destructive acts” including the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.

Tuesday's attack and the operation against commercial vessels off the coast of the UAE on Sunday took place as the United States and Iran exchanged angry words over sanctions and the US military presence in the region.

Saudi Aramco added that Saudi oil and gas supplies to its clients have not been affected by the attacks.

Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a US official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday.

The US ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind the attacks 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.

"It's not in (Iran's) interest, it's not in our interest, it's not in Saudi Arabia’s interest to have a conflict." — Agencies


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