Drone attacks carried out by Yemen’s Houthi revolutionaries shut down one of the kingdom’s main oil pipelines on Tuesday, further ratcheting up Gulf tensions after the mysterious sabotage of four ships, two of them Saudi tankers, just outside the Gulf on Sunday.
“The cabinet affirms that these acts of terrorism and sabotage … do not only target the kingdom but also the security of world oil supplies and the global economy,” it said after a meeting chaired by King Salman in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Tuesday evening.
Tuesday’s drone strikes hit two pumping stations on the kingdom’s east-west pipeline, which can carry five million barrels of crude per day and provides a strategic alternative route for Saudi exports if the shipping lane from the Gulf through the Stait of Hormuz is closed.
The Saudi tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad suffered “significant damage” in as yet unexplained sabotage attacks in the Sea of Oman off the United Artab Emirates on Sunday, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said, but there were no casualties or any oil spill.
Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE, both close allies of the United States, have yet given details on the exact nature of those attacks.