Saudi Arabia says its oil pipeline was hit by drones

Saudi Arabia says its oil pipeline was hit by drones

Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that.

In Washington, Trump told reporters he would "absolutely" be willing to send troops to the Mideast, but he's not planned for that and hopefully won't have to plan for that.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE back the sanctions against Iran, a fellow OPEC producer but regional foe.

"There won't be any war. It is easy to throw accusations but it is a hard situation, there are serious issues and among them is Iranian behavior", he said, mentioning concern about Iran's missiles and regional policy.

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 its landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Tehran has been embroiled in an escalating war of words with the United States over stricter USA sanctions, which have cut its oil exports and tightened global supply.

The 746-mile pipeline is actually two pipes that have a total capacity of 4.8 million barrels of crude oil a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

A UAE government official said the Saudi oil tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad were attacked off the emirate of Fujairah along with the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory and an Emirati ship, the A. Michel.

The official said possible perpetrators might include Houthi rebels in Yemen and Iran-backed Shi'ite militias based in Iraq, but Washington had no hard evidence.

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However, an official familiar with American intelligence said that Iran was a leading candidate for having carried out the attacks but that the USA did not have conclusive proof to confirm this.

Speaking in New Delhi, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad said he spoke with Indian officials about concerns of "suspicious activities and sabotage in the region".

The Houthis, who are at war with Saudi Arabia, said earlier Tuesday they launched seven drones targeting vital Saudi installations, without elaborating.

What's really behind these series of attacks? The pipeline transfers oil from the Eastern Province to the western coast.

In a statement carried by the state-run Saudi news agency, the kingdom's energy minister said the attack unfolded early Tuesday morning and targeted the facilities of state-owned oil giant Aramco.

US national security agencies believe proxies sympathetic to or working for Iran may have attacked four tankers off the United Arab Emirates rather than Iranian forces themselves, a USA official familiar with the latest US assessments said on Tuesday. Brent was trading at $71.37 a barrel by 1715 GMT, up 1.62%. It added that Saudi Aramco's oil and gas supplies were not affected.

For Ibrahim Ban Naji, a Yemeni observer, the odd timing of the Houthi drone attack that targeted Saudi Arabia raised a series of questions particularly as no signs of military escalation were reported in Hodeidah, where pro-Houthi forces actually began unilateral redeployment two days ago.

Oil futures inched up on Wednesday as the prospect of mounting tensions in the Middle East hitting global supplies overshadowed an unexpected build in US crude inventories.

The United Arab Emirates will show restraint after attacks on oil tankers off its coast and is committed to de-escalation during a "difficult situation" caused by Iranian behavior in the region, a senior official said on Wednesday.

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