Explosive-laden drones attack oil pipelines in Saudi Arabia in ‘act of terrorism’: Iran-backed Yemen rebels target global oil supply two days after sabotage of tankers off UAE coast amid looming conflict in the Middle East

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
By Paul Martin

Two pumping stations on a major Saudi oil pipeline have today been attacked by explosive-laden drones
Iran-backed Houthi rebels had earlier claimed to have targeted several vital Saudi targets with drones
Comes after four ships, including two Saudi tankers, were damaged in ‘sabotage attacks’ off the UAE coast
One of the commercial ships was said to be en route to pick up Saudi oil to transport to America
American military’s initial assessment is that Iran or Iran-backed proxies are responsible for the attacks
Comes amid rising tensions between U.S. and Iran and warnings conflict could break out ‘by accident’
White House reportedly planning to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces

JULIAN ROBINSON
DAILYMAIL.COM
14 May 2019

Two pumping stations on a major Saudi oil pipeline have today been attacked by explosive-laden drones, halting the flow of crude along it – just two days after the sabotage of four tankers off the UAE coast.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said attacks on the pipeline from the oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea took place early this morning and called it ‘an act of terrorism’ that targeted global oil supplies.

Oil infrastructure sites belonging to the country’s state-run oil company Aramco were targeted with a fire breaking out at a station along the pipeline.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who are battling a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, had earlier claimed to have targeted several vital Saudi targets with drones and later said it was meant to send a message to the kingdom to ‘stop your aggression’ on their country. It was not immediately clear if they were also claiming responsibility for Sunday’s ship sabotaging incident near Fujairah emirate.

The development threatens to further escalate tensions in the region after the Pentagon claimed Tehran had used explosives to blow holes in the four commercial ships.

The US has deployed B-52 bombers and an assault ship to bolster an aircraft carrier in the region. Meanwhile, the White House is reportedly planning to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces in an alarming echo of the Iraq War.

Asked about the damage, which one tanker association suggested was caused by a ‘weapon’, US President Donald Trump warned that Tehran would ‘suffer greatly’ if it enraged Washington, predicting a ‘bad problem for Iran if something happens’.

The war of words continued when President Hassan Rouhani responded by warning Iran is ‘too great to be intimidated by anyone’. The Iranian leader told Sunni clerics that ‘God willing we will pass this difficult period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy’.

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