Andrew Murrison, the British foreign affairs minister responsible for the Middle East and North Africa has taken to Twitter to condemn the drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities, one of which is the world’s largest oil processing plant.
— andrew murrison (@AWMurrison) September 14, 2019
The comment follows as US envoy to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid slammed Houthi drone attacks on two Saudi oil factories, calling them 'unacceptable'.
U.S. Ambassador John #Abizaid: “The U.S. strongly condemns today’s drone attacks against oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais. These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost.” pic.twitter.com/ZzDTNUz2Ik— U.S. Mission to KSA (@USAinKSA) September 14, 2019
Meanwhile, three anonymous sources told Reuters that the attacks disrupted Saudi Arabia's oil production. According to one of the sources, the incident impacted almost half of the country's oil production, costing the nation roughly 5 million barrels per day.
Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq facility in the eastern part of the kingdom as well as a factory in Khurais were targeted by drones on Saturday morning. The attack caused fires at both sites, which were eventually contained by security forces.
Hours later, a spokesperson from Yemen's Houthi movement announced in a statement that the group was claiming responsibility for the attacks.
The Houthi movement is one of the parties of the prolonged conflict in Yemen that has been ravaging the country for several years and has plunged it into a deep humanitarian crisis. The Houthis oppose the government forces led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi.
Since March 2015, a military coalition spearheaded by Riyadh has been carrying out airstrikes against the rebel movement at Hadi's request.
The Houthi, in their turn, have retaliated by performing drone attacks on Saudi airports and facilities.
Saudi Aramco is a state-owned oil enterprise which operates and controls the majority of the kingdom's refinery production and oilfields. It is one of the largest firms globally in terms of revenue and is believed to be the most profitable company in the world.