Saudi oil tankers attacked near UAE territorial waters


The pipeline transports oil from the oilfields in the Eastern Province to the port of Yanbu on the west coast.

The Houthis said in a statement that seven drones had successfully attacked their targets.

Earlier on Tuesday, Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed that they had targeted several vital Saudi targets with drones.

Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it stopped pumping on a major oil pipeline after it was hit by a coordinated drone attack by Iran-allied Yemen Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Monday that the attack aimed to undermine security of global crude supplies.

State-run Aramco said it had temporarily shut down the East-West pipeline, known as Petroline, to evaluate its condition.

Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia attends a news conference after a meeting of the OPEC, and non OPEC members in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

According to the same sources, thousands of missiles were deployed throughout Iran, and the message to the United States is that it will not be able to destroy all targets in Iran at once, and they will not be able to prevent Iran from launching missiles.

"Any risky slip and the region will pay a unsafe price, Iraq will pay a unsafe price", Mahdi added.

The fire after attack was contained, SPA reported.

The UAE, with United States assistance, has launched an investigation into the Fujairah incidents.

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Details are sketchy as to who was behind the twin attacks, but they both carry the fingerprints of the region's primary aggressor: Iran.

Tehran meanwhile called for an investigation into Sunday's "alarming" attacks off the Emirati coast and warned of "adventurism" by foreign players to disrupt maritime security. Al Jazeera reported Tuesday that US military officials are investigating that attack.

"We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war", U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid said in Riyadh on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The Gulf Cooperation Council condemned the tanker sabotage on Monday as a "serious escalation" that could "increase tensions and conflict in the region and jeopardize the interests of their peoples".

The US Embassy in the UAE advised its citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance for heightened tensions in the region. The fire was controlled, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The United States is backing the Saudi coalition with intelligence and logistical support, as well as billions of dollars in weapon sales.

After pulling out of the deal a year ago, the U.S. began a maximalist pressure campaign against Iran.

Asked whether the United States believed Iran played a role in the attacks, Brian Hook, the USA special envoy for Iran, declined to comment, saying only that U.S. authorities would be assisting the investigation at the request of the UAE.

A fifth of global oil consumption passes through the strait from Middle East crude producers to much of the world.

A top commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corp called the U.S. aircraft carrier a "target", saying "If [the Americans] make a move, we will hit them in the head".

Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei called on the Revolutionary Guards to "prepare fully" and called on the army "to prepare for the worst scenario against America and all the countries in the region where American bases are located if Washington decides to go to war".