Saudi Arabia says drones hit oil pipeline

16 May, 2019, 04:10 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Pump jacks operate at sunset in an oilfield in Texas

The oil-pumping stations targeted Tuesday are more than 500 miles from Saudi Arabia's southern border with Yemen, in the greater region of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

He expected that the drone attack to trigger more serious reaction from the anti-Houthi military coalition to enter a new phase aimed at eradicating the military capabilities of the rebel group. Benchmark Brent crude prices remained around $71 a barrel in early trading Wednesday.

Notably, the recent attacks come amid mounting tension between Iran and the USA after the Pentagon announced the deployment earlier this week of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf.

But that came after Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami warned that the United States and its ally Israel would suffer the "bitter taste of defeat". But he also said, "Neither we, nor them is seeking war". "Houthis tried to appear non-violent in front of the world and that they are supporting peace through announcing unilateral withdrawal from Hodeidah's ports just two days ago", said Ibrahim. Though Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, scientists say the time needed to reach the 90% threshold for weapons-grade uranium is halved once uranium is enriched to around 20%.

It was a telling remark from the supreme leader - Iran is not known to have enriched beyond 20% previously and it's unclear how far Tehran is willing to go in this process.

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

The drone strikes hit two pumping stations on the kingdom's east-west pipeline, which can carry five million barrels of crude per day and provides a strategic alternative route for Saudi exports if the shipping lane from the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz is closed.

Saudi Arabia's state-owned energy company Aramco has since stopped pumping oil through a major pipeline. U.S. intelligence sources have alleged Iran is behind the unexplained attacks, but added Washington does not have enough proof to back that claim.

More news: Tankers reported damaged off UAE on major oil trade route

Muslim World League Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said the attacks reflected the level of hatred terrorist organizations felt toward the Kingdom but added that would only increase Saudi Arabia's determination to confront the "forces of evil".

There had been no comments yet from the Saudi-led coalition over the Houthi rebels' claim. The website TankerTrackers.com, whose analysts monitor oil sales on the seas, first reported about the black marks.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, in comments run by state media, said the drone attack and Sunday's sabotage of four vessels, including two Saudi tankers, off Fujairah emirate, threatened global oil supplies. Iranian officials denied responsibility.

The ships, which also included the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory and an Emirati vessel, were docked in the sea off the coast of the emirate of Fujairah.

"It is this behaviour that has led to the hard conditions", Gargash said.

In Baghdad, the U.S. Embassy published its order telling all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country.

Washington ordered the departure of non-emergency American employees from its diplomatic missions in Iraq on Wednesday in show of concern about threats from Iran-backed forces.

That contradicts what British Maj.

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