Riyadh: Saudi Arabia oil stations attacked by armed drones
May 14, 2019 | Brainwave Science
Saudi Arabia officials confirmed that explosives-laden drones had hit two oil pumping stations in the Riyadh region, calling the attack “an act of terrorism” that targeted global oil supplies. The attack came just two days after Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arabia Emirates.Riyadh
Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who are battling a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, had earlier claimed to have targeted several ‘vital’ Saudi installations with armed drones. The rebel group stated that these attacks are in response to the Saudi Kingdom’s ‘crime’ in Yemen. However, it isn’t clear if they were also claiming the responsibility for sabotaging incident near UAE.Riyadh
Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement, “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.”Riyadh
A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthi militias for four years in Yemen to try to restore the internationally recognized government, in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Houthis have repeatedly launched drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and claimed to have launched drone attacks on the UAE. A spokesperson for Iran-aligned Houthis fighting the Riyadh backed government 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.”Riyadh
According to American Intelligence, Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage incident although Washington had no conclusive proof yet. However, recent attacks have put Iran at the front as Houthis claimed the responsibility. The attacks on Saudi installations occur amid a war of words between Washington and Tehran over sanctions and US military presence in the region. However, Iran has denied involvement and described the attacks as “worrisome and dreadful.”
Saudi Arabia and Iran-two powerful neighbors- are locked in a fierce struggle that has lasted for decades over regional dominance. They each follow one of the two main sects in Islam- Iran is largely Shia Muslim, while Saudi Arabia sees itself as the leading Sunni Muslim power. Saudi Arabia has long accused Iran of supporting Houthi rebel groups, known terror group by the Saudi government, by supplying ballistic missiles used to target Saudi installation.
For a long time, the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia have seen Iran as a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iran a ‘major destabilizing force’ in the Middle East while Britain warned of the danger of war being started in the Gulf by accident.
US President Donald Trump threatened Iran with a “bad problem” following the news of attacks on Saudi oil installations. He said, “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens, I can tell you that. They’re not going to be happy.”
It is believed Iranians have provided support to the Houthi rebels for a long time who have repeatedly attack Saudi cities with drones and missiles. The US and its allies are willing to take serious actions “to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities” and “malign behavior”. UN, Iraq and other middle east countries believe that such actions would lead to war in the Middle East. It is really important to identify national security threat created by Houthis rebel group in Saudi Arabia before it led to bloodshed and massacre.
US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John Abizaid said, “We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable short of war.”
As the threat is real and critical, one wrong decision could result in the loss of a million innocent lives and war in the Middle East. It is very necessary for the Saudi government and national security agencies to do a thorough investigation in this “act of terrorism” that targeted global oil supplies and identify the threat posed by Houthi rebel group and involvement of Tehran in these attacks which Iranian officials called “worrisome and dreadful.”
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