India Condemns Drone Attacks Targeting Oil Installations in Saudi Arabia

Nellie Chapman
May 18, 2019

This is a behaviour that is not new to the region.

A confidential Norwegian insurers' report seen by Reuters concluded that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) were "highly likely" to have facilitated the attacks on the tankers.

The Saudi regime - along with its allies - accuses Iran of arming Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement against the kingdom. "Our goal is a different Syria that does not threaten its people or neighbors, does not use chemical weapons, does not expel refugees and displace people from its territory, and does not provide Iran with a platform to launch rockets against Israel", he noted.

The Arab News editorial, published in English, said it's "clear that (U.S.) sanctions are not sending the right message" and that "they must be hit hard", without elaborating on what specific targets should be struck.

The Arab News, a major English-language Saudi Arabian newspaper owned by Saudi Prince Turki bin Salman (brother of crown prince Mohamed bin Salman) has always been treated as virtually an official government mouthpiece.

"These attacks come at a time when responsible stakeholders across the region should work together to lower tensions", underlined Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in NY. "This is the region we live in and it's important for us that we manage this crisis". He accused the USA and regional nations of airing "false allegations" about Iran.

Indeed, on Tuesday, the same day as the drone attacks, United Nations officials confirmed completion of the first phase of redeploying Houthi forces away from Hodeidah and other ports, as part of a UN-brokered agreement, meaning that the Houthis would have jeopardised a potential settlement to disrupt Saudi oil transport for one day.

European nations have urged the US and Iran to show restraint. It said "appeasement does not work with the Iranian regime, just as it did not work with Hitler".

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to push back an advance by the rebels, who continue to hold the capital Sanaa, and to restore to power President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

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The ministry says 41 people were also wounded, including two women of Russian nationality.

Ali Shihabi, who runs the Saudi-leaning Arabia Foundation in Washington, said there's a sense that if the Iranians can get away with targeting Saudi oil infrastructure, then "the whole security infrastructure in the Gulf will be called into question and security premiums on oil will rise".

Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs, has accused Iran of ordering Tuesday's drone attack on Saudi oil facilities.

He also dismissed as "ridiculous" claims that Iran provides Yemeni forces with missiles, saying "even a single piece of bread can not get past the siege" imposed the Saudi-led coalition of aggressors against Yemen. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Fawaz Ahmed, a middle-aged broker, told The Associated Press he saw the three bodies being retrieved from the rubble - a father, his child and his wife, all buried together.

The Sanaa strikes targeted nine military sites in and around the city, residents said, with humanitarian agencies reporting a number of casualties.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The ambassador to Yemen followed up, writing that the Houthis had "made Yemen a platform for Iranian terrorism against Yemenis and their interests, and a tool to attack Saudi Arabia". It was the latest incident to shake global energy markets. The Qatar-funded satellite news broadcaster cited an anonymous official for the report, adding that the US was aware of the trip in advance.

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