Attempted attack on Saudi oil facilities draws regional condemnation

Countries say attack jeopardised regional security and world's energy supply

Saudi Aramco oil tanks in the east coast city of Dhahran, where Saudi forces intercepted a missile on March 7, 2021. Saudi Aramco / AFP
Saudi Aramco oil tanks in the east coast city of Dhahran, where Saudi forces intercepted a missile on March 7, 2021. Saudi Aramco / AFP

An attempted drone and ballistic missile attack on Saudi Arabia's eastern oil hub has attracted widespread condemnation.

Countries in the region said the thwarted attack on Sunday violated international norms and laws and would affect the security and stability of global energy supplies in the world.

They called on the international community to condemn such terrorist actions that threaten regional and international security and stability.

Saudi authorities said a drone attack on a petroleum plant at Ras Tanura port was thwarted on Sunday morning, and a missile was intercepted near an Aramco housing complex in Dhahran, about about 80 kilometres south, on Sunday evening.

A Saudi energy ministry spokesman said there were no injuries in the two attacks.

Yemen's Houthi rebels said they launched drones and missiles at the area.

'Cowardly terrorist attack'

The UAE denounced the Iran-backed militia for attempting to target one of the petroleum tank farms at the Ras Tanura.

“This cowardly attack targeted energy supplies and security, and reflected the Houthis’ blatant disregard for the international community and all international laws and norms,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said in a statement released through the official Wam news agency.

"The security of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are indivisible," the ministry said, and any threat to Saudi Arabia was considered a threat to the UAE's security and stability.

Bahrain condemned the attack as a “flagrant violation of international laws, and a serious threat to energy supplies, shipping navigation and the global economy".

Kuwait said the “terrorist crimes” represented a major escalation of violence and denounced the international community’s “silence in the face of these despicable actions”.

Qatar said it considered the targeting of vital installations and facilities an act of sabotage.

The GCC said such terrorist attacks “strike at the pulse of the global economy and energy supplies to the world.”

The Saudi defence ministry said it would take all measures necessary to preserve the security of global energy.

“We are determined to put an end to these acts of terrorism, guarantee the security and stability of oil supplies, protect security of petroleum exports and safeguard freedom of shipping and international trade,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The Houthis have stepped up attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent weeks amid an offensive to seize the Yemeni government's last northern stronghold of Marib.

The Saudi-led coalition supporting the Yemeni government reported intercepting more than 20 drones and missiles launched at civilian targets in the kingdom's south over the past week.

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Updated: March 8, 2021 01:16 PM

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