Drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline west of Riyadh on Tuesday (May 14), which was claimed by Iran-aligned Yemen rebels has sparked a worldwide controversy and it may led to harm the regional stability. The recent attack shut down one of Saudi Arabia’s major oil pipelines, further ratcheting up Gulf tensions after the mysterious sabotage of several tankers.
The attacks caused minor damage but alarmed an international community already rattled by the sharp downturn in relations between Iran and the United States. Washington and Tehran played down tensions after trading barbs as the Americans sent an aircraft carrier group and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the region to counter alleged threats from Saudi arch-rival Iran.
“We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sochi. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war with the United States”.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter and OPEC kingpin, said two pumping stations had been targeted early Tuesday (May 14). They lie on the East-West Pipeline, able to pump five million barrels of oil a day from oil-rich Eastern Province to a Red Sea port.
The announcement came hours after Yemen’s Huthi rebels said they had targeted vital installations in Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against them. In a statement, the Huthis warned of other “unique operations, if the aggressors continue with their crimes and blockade”. “We are capable of executing unique operations on a bigger and wider scale in the hearts of the enemy countries.”