Drone Strikes in Saudi Arabia

Posting ID 119414
Date Added: 05/16/2019 7:24 AM EDT
Date Modified: 05/16/2019 7:24 AM EDT
Jacinta Meredith | E-ISAC Staff


Yemen Houthi rebels have recently claimed responsibility for two drone strikes in Saudi Arabia targeting oil pumping stations and resulting in the temporary shutdown of a major pipeline in the kingdom. It is believed that these attacks were sponsored by Iran, and the rebels claimed that the drone attacks were part of a coordinated attack which included other energy infrastructure. The rebels said the attacks was a response to “the crimes they are committing every day against the Yemeni people.”[i] Although the damage was minimal, the attack demonstrated not just the ownership and usage of armed drones, but the capability to use global positioning satellite technology to target infrastructure. The attack came only a day after four oil tankers were sabotaged near the coast of the United Arab Emirates, two of which appear to also belong to Saudi Arabia, which has led to speculation that the attacks may be connected.

It is important for the electric industry to be aware of attacks such as these as a sign of the increasing threat posed by and weaponization of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), as well as tactics, techniques, and procedures that are beginning to become more prevalent worldwide.

Below please find some articles related to both incidents for your convenience:

·        Two Saudi Oil Tankers Sabotaged as Tensions Increase in the Gulf

·        Houthi drone attacks in Saudi ‘show new level of sophistication’

·        Yemeni Armed Drones Attack Saudi Oil Pipeline

·        Saudi Arabia says oil infrastructure attacked by drones


[i] Per an article from TRTWORLD citing Mohammed Abdel Salam

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