Saudi Arabia: Terrorist acts against the Gulf are targeting global oil supply

A motorist holds a fuel pump at a Gulf petrol station in London

"Our goal is to respond to the crimes they are committing everyday against the Yemeni people", he added.

Two oil pumping stations serving a major East-West oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia faced a attack by armed drones on Tuesday, with the damage now being assessed, the minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid bin Al-Falih has said.

According to the minister, at 6-6:30 a.m. local time drones hit two pumping stations of the pipeline used to transport oil from the oil deposits in the East of the kingdom to the port of Yanbu in the West.

The kingdom's state security body also said two petroleum pumping stations in the greater region of Riyadh, the landlocked capital, were targeted at the same time.

Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthis' Political Bureau, said in statements to Al Jazeera TV channel that these attacks come as part of "the expansion of attacks against Saudi and UAE targets", to push both countries to review their policies in the region, as he put it. He said this reaffirms the need of the worldwide community to confront the activities of groups like the Houthis.

Fox News quoted a source on Monday night who said a US military team has examined the four commercial vessels damaged by explosions off the coast of the UAE on Sunday and concluded agents of Iran or its proxy forces attacked them.

Iran is embroiled in a war of words with the United States over sanctions and the US military presence in the region.

The allegations came after US President Donald Trump warned Iran it will "suffer greatly" if it antagonises the United States after the Pentagon reported Tehran was responsible for the blasts, which ripped holes in four ships, including two oil tankers, close to the Saudi Arabian port of Fujairah.

Citing an unnamed U.S. official, the news agency explained that it appeared that Iran "or Iranian-backed proxies" had "used explosives" to "blow large holes in four ships". They were not authorized to discuss the results of the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. official says Iran is "trying to muddy the waters" with such comments.

As usual, social media were quick to react with many blaming the most obvious culprit-Iran-as the "sabotage" came on the heels of US warnings to commercial and military vessels in the Persian Gulf of possible action from Iranian forces. The assault, which has yet to be claimed by a group, was condemned across the region.

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"The events that took place in the Emirates were Israeli mischief", declared Iranian parliamentary spokesman Behrouz Nemati, without providing any evidence for the allegation.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month. The Spanish frigate was the only non-US vessel in the fleet, which is scheduled to sail to California in late October.

"Any targeting of Saudi security compromises regional and worldwide security", Qudah said. The US Maritime Agency warned last Thursday that Iran might target commercial shipping in the area.

Riyadh separately announced that two of its oil tankers, apparently among the four, were "sabotaged" off the coast of Fujairah. A boom surrounded the Emirati oil tanker A. Michel, indicating the possibility of an oil leak. Otherwise, the vessels do not show signs of massive damage.

"There has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria", said Major General Chris Ghika, a British spokesman for the force.

China plans to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, the finance ministry said on Monday, after Washington escalated the trade war with a tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese products.

The use of drones also raises new concerns over Iran's influence in the conflict.

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was forthright in his response - suggesting the country was "too great to be intimidated by anyone". The fire was controlled, the Saudi Press Agency said.

Iran and the United States have engaged in a war of words in recent weeks since Tehran began to roll back commitments set out in a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Such drones remain hard to shoot down with either light or heavy weapons.

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