By all standards, Sunday’s criminal attacks, claimed by the Iran-backed Al Houthis terror group on the Saudi oil facilities and civil areas in the eastern region represent an extremely dangerous escalation. The world should not tolerate the preposterous acts that jeopardise the region’s security and the global energy supplies.
On Sunday, the Saudi ministry of energy said a petroleum tank farm in the port of Ras Tanura, one of the world’s largest oil shipping ports, was attacked by a drone and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities in Dhahran.
A ministry spokesperson said neither attack caused any injury or loss of life or property, but shrapnel from the intercepted missile fell near residential areas in the city of Dhahran, the Saudi News Agency, SPA reported.
“Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” the ministry said. “They affect the security of petroleum exports, freedom of world trade, and maritime traffic.”
Countries around the world condemned the criminal attacks. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation stressed the continued threat of these attacks in recent days is “a grave escalation that represents these militias’ attempts to defy international laws and regulations.”
The ministry urged the international community to take “an immediate and decisive stance to stop these repeated acts that target civilian and vital installations and the security and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
While Al Houthis claimed responsibility for the terror attacks, reports suggested that drones and missiles came from the sea, which could point to other perpetrators. The Saudi authorities will surely investigate.
The kingdom has been exercising utmost restraint as the Al Houthis intensified their attacks in recent weeks on civilian areas in the south of Saudi Arabia. They Saudi-led Arab Coalition has been intercepting and destroying drones and ballistic missiles on a daily basis.
The coalition hopes that international pressure and United Nations mediation would result in meaningful talks to end the conflict and reunite Yemen, restore its stability and all urgent aid to reach the millions of Yemenis who have been suffering from famine and lack of basic services since Al Houthis overthrew the legitimate government in September 2014.
The United States meanwhile needs to rethink its decision last month to remove the Al Houthi militias from the list of terror group. The Biden administration’s decision to appease the group and its masters in Tehran sent a wrong message and empowered the group, which has been escalating is terror attacks ever since.