Eleven Terror Attacks Sought Harming Saudi Oil Facilities
Iran, using regional proxies, has been gradually scaling up its attacks against Saudi oil targets since 2003.
In total eleven terror attempts have targeted Saudi Arabian oil facilities within the last 16 years. Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Houthis have each staged attacks against the kingdom. The latest in a series of terror-linked violence was a multiple drone attack which hit Aramco oil stations in each of the Al Duawadimi and Afif districts in Riyadh.
It is worth noting that the attacks came a day after officials in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates claimed four oil tankers were damaged by “sabotage” suspected to have been carried out by Iran or its allied proxies.
Drone terror attacks by Houthis against the pumping stations is reminiscent of previous attempts, such as the abortive attack which attempted to blow up a platform and an Aramco oil distribution station in April 2017 in the Saudi port city of Jizan.
Two oil tankers belonging to the Saudi national shipping company in the Red Sea were attacked by Yemen's Houthi militia after crossing the Bab al-Mandab Strait in 2018 as well.
One of the earliest attacks on oil installations and pipelines in Saudi Arabia was staged by car suicide bombers who detonated in an oil refinery in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing a security man and thwarting Saudi Arabia in November.
In 2007 an imminent attack plotted against a backup oil facility in Saudi Arabia’s eastern region was thwarted, where a cell of eight people led by a resident in Saudi Arabia was arrested.
In 1987, members of the Iran-backed Hezbollah Al-Hejaz set arson at a facility in the Ras Tanura oil complex in eastern Saudi Arabia. In the same year, terrorists from the same group attacked property at the SADAF Petrochemical Complex in the eastern Saudi city of Jubail.
Saudi security servicemen have also thwarted attacks which sought to blow up an oil pipeline in the Al Duawadimi district in Riyadh. The terror cell had received instructions from a Syria-based intermediary in Syria.