Saudi Arabia Slams Houthi Attacks on Oil Stations

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- The New York Times reports the White House is reviewing military plans that could result in sending 120,000 US troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces or steps up work on nuclear weapons.

In total eleven terror attempts have targeted Saudi Arabian oil facilities within the last 16 years.

Still, al-Falih in his statement named Yemeni rebel Houthis as a group that must be internationally confronted and accused it of being backed by Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival.

The reported pipeline attacks came after the UAE said four ships were damaged in "sabotage attacks" off the emirate of Fujairah, on the mouth of the Hormuz, on Sunday.

Saudi Aramco, the government-controlled oil company, said that as a precaution, it temporarily shut down the East-West Pipeline and contained a fire, which caused minor damage to one pumping station.

World leaders, Arab and Muslim organizations have condemned the attacks on the Kingdom's east-west oil pipeline and called for a united worldwide effort to combat terror in the region.

Attacks such as the one on Saudi Aramco's pumping stations do happen occasionally.

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.

Saudi Arabia shared the concerns of its fellow Sunni Muslim ally that Shi'ite Iran has for a long time been undermining stability in the region, he said, and the United States' commitment to its allies in the region is "very strong".

Gunmen kill six during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso
Another attack on a Christian church in the region last month after Sunday services left six dead, including a pastor. The raids began in 2015 in the north before targeting the capital Ouagadougou and other regions, notably in the east.

May 9: The European Union urges Iran to respect the nuclear deal and says it plans to continue trading with the country despite US sanctions. "It is easy to throw accusations but it is a hard situation, there are serious issues and among them is Iranian behaviour", he said, mentioning concern about Iran's missiles and regional policy.

John Bolton, the White House national security adviser and a longtime Iran hawk, announces the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings", without providing details. The U.S. has recently warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region.

USA national security agencies believe proxies sympathetic to or working for Iran may have sabotaged the tankers off the UAE coast rather than Iranian forces themselves, a US official familiar with the latest US assessments said on Tuesday.

Satellite images provided to the AP by Colorado-based Maxar Technologies showed a boom surrounding the Emirati oil tanker A. Michel, indicating the possibility of an oil leak.

Tehran has called the US military presence "a target" rather than a threat, and said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted.

Iran has rejected the allegation and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that "extremist individuals" in the USA government were pursuing unsafe policies, amid a war of words with Washington over sanctions.

Also Tuesday, Spain temporarily pulled one of its frigates that was part of a US -led fleet from near the Persian Gulf because of the mounting tensions.

Maggie Michael and Samy Magdy of the Associated Press in Cairo and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, contributed.

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