Refinery Bombing

Mason Dunleavy, News Editor

Drones and their capabilities have been demonstrated throughout the years, helping or hurting communities. The destructive force of drones is often the one being spoken about in news cycles. 


A recent drone bombing on Saudi Arabia’s largest refinery, Abqaiq Oil Refinery, has sent oil prices soaring and tensions flaring amid the chaos. 


The Yemen based group, Houthi Ansarullah, took credit for the attack, but people are still questioning their motives. Houthi Ansarullah has been supported by Iran in the past, which leads to the question, did Iran have something to do with this?


This question, asked by many, received a response from President Donald Trump in which he said the United States  is “locked and loaded” for Iran. 


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke on Thursday about the attack on Saudi Arabia’s refinery, stating a retaliation attack by the US would bring “all-out war. We don’t want to engage in military confrontation,” Zarif said. “But we won’t blink to defend our country.”


Tensions have been high between the U.S. and Iran. Earlier this year, President Trump started a  sanction agenda against Iran and other countries, which was disapproved by many. However, with the recent drone bombing against one of our closest friends in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia), sanctions are set to rise once again. 


Tensions between Yemen and Saudi Arabia have reached a breaking point within the past few years. In 2015, U.S.-backed bombing campaigns led by Saudi Arabia against Yemen tore up much of Yemen, leaving what the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is calling a humanitarian crisis. According to Peoplesworld, 80% of Yemen’s population is in need, including 12 million children. 


In response to the attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “The U.S. stands with #SaudiArabia and its right to defend itself. The Iranian regime’s threatening behavior will not be tolerated!”


This is just the latest in the confusing and long-winded turmoil of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia was hit with a similar bombing in 2006, which was credited to Al-Qaeda. The bombing in 2006 was devastating and much more destructive, but the recent drone bombing was carried out with precision. 

Environmentalists are concerned about the effects of the bombing, citing that air pollution is already at a concerning state in the Middle East. Considering that the Abqaiq refinery was one of the biggest refineries in the world, the consequences to the environment will be a sight to behold.


Roughly 6% of the world’s oil exports came from the Saudi Arabian Abqaiq refinery, much less since 2006, but still enough to cause price increases. 

Russia and the U.S. have worked their way up to become leading exporters of oil, which will hopefully make up for the refinery loss.