How Strong Is Saudi Arabia's Military?

Drones carrying explosives hit two pumping stations servicing the East-West pipeline in Saudi Arabia, the country's energy minister said Tuesday.

Khalid al-Falih said the state-owned oil giant Aramco had stopped oil pumping through the pipeline as the damage evaluation and repair was on. He added in a statement published by state news agency SPA that the kingdom's oil output and petroleum exports have not been affected. The pipeline carries oil to the Yanbu port on the Red Sea.

The pumping stations that were hit are in the greater Riyadh area around the capital.

The Saudi statement came shortly after Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have been at war with a Saudi-led coalition since 2005, claimed a series of drone attacks across the Saudi Arabia.

The attack also comes just days after four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotage by unknown actors, damaging them. News reports said initial assessments of that attack pointed to the involvement of Iranian actors.

The U.S. had warned against Iran or Iranian-backed proxies launching attacks on U.S. interests in the region and moved a carrier strike force and additional bombers to add to the firepower already in the Middle East.

Such incidents in the world's largest oil producing region could affect the movement of oil and petroleum products to world markets and can push up the price of oil at a time the world economy is precariously poised because of the trade war between the U.S. and China.

This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.

Drone navigation
A representative image of a drone. MIT/CSAIL