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House of Saud rocked by largest-ever attack on kingdom's oil infrastructure

sauid arabia


by Joseph Earnest September 20, 2019


Newscast Media KHURAIS, Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia’s newly appointed energy minister was in London when he learned in the middle of the night of the largest-ever attack on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure.


Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Salman, a veteran oil official and senior member of the Al-Saud ruling family, hurried back to the kingdom, flying by private jet to Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran to assess the damage and manage the fallout from the attack on the world’s largest oil exporter, three sources close to the matter said. Officials at state-run oil company Saudi Aramco, meanwhile, gathered in what was referred to internally as the “emergency management room” at the company’s headquarters.


Interviews with at least a dozen Gulf and Western officials provide the most detailed account to date of the response by Saudi officials and state oil company Aramco to the most destructive strike on Saudi Arabia since it opened an offensive in Yemen more than four years ago. The attack knocked out more than half the kingdom’s oil production, or almost 6 percent of global oil output.


Saudi Arabia has said Iran was responsible, an assessment that U.S. officials share. Iranian officials were unavailable to comment but Iran has denied involvement.


Yemen’s Houthi rebels, an ally of Iran battling a Western-backed, Arab coalition, has claimed responsibility. But Gulf diplomats and regional officials say they are skeptical of the claim given the sophistication of the attacks.


The Saudi Energy Ministry declined to comment on its response to the attacks. The government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


The attacks place pressure on both U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s day-to-day leader Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who have worked closely together to contain Iran’s growing regional influence. Both countries have stressed the need for caution.


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has described the attacks as “an act of war” against Saudi Arabia, though Trump says there are options short of war. Iran has warned that any U.S. or Saudi military strike against the country would bring “all-out war.” Add Comments >>


Source: Daily Star










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