Saudi Arabia said drones attacked two oil-pumping stations in the kingdom on Tuesday.
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 oil facilities of state-owned oil giant Aramco, the Washington Post reported.
The assaults marked the latest incidents challenging Mideast security after the alleged sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates earlier this week amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih condemned the Houthi rebels and described the attack as “cowardly.” He added that “this act of terrorism and sabotage in addition to recent acts in the Arabian Gulf do not only target the kingdom but also the security of world oil supplies and the global economy.”
“These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” he said.
As a precaution, Aramco temporarily shut down the pipeline to evaluate its condition and was working on restoring the oil pumping stations before resuming operations, Falih said. He added that kingdom’s oil production has not been affected by the attack.
Shortly before Tuesday’s attacks, Houthi rebels announced on their television station that they had launched seven drone attacks on significant targets into neighboring Saudi Arabia. But the rebels did not identify their targets or the time of the attacks.
Iran has been accused by the U.S. and the U.N. of supplying ballistic missile technology and arms to the Houthis, which Tehran denies.
This was not the first time the Houthis have targeted Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles. The rebels have also claimed to have launched drone attacks inside the United Arab Emirates.