Yanbu Port – Explosive-Laden Drone Boat Attack

A drone boat laden with explosives reportedly attempted to attack the Yanbu Port in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. The US military has been conducting “port operations” at that location all during the month of April. It is unclear from the sketchy details if there was any damage, but the Saudi government says it destroyed the boat in the Red Sea before it reached the intended target. Reports from multiple sources say that the attack was aimed at an oil tanker called the NCC Dammam.

A bomb-laden Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) was intercepted and destroyed at (0640) this morning (Tuesday, 27 April 2021). Naval units were able to detect and monitor the activity of the bomb-laden USV in the Red Sea waters off the shores of (Yanbu)

Saudi Press Agency

The Saudi-flagged NCC Dammam is owned by National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), and they denied that their vessel was attacked.  Various media outlets reported that Saudi forces were able to track the drone vessel and destroy it prior to reaching its intended target. Others questioned that narrative, as black smoke was seen rising from the Yanbu port area. They stated that the black smoke was seen approximately 2 nautical miles from the Yanbu port. The

Yanbu has a critical oil refinery.

Details remained scarce, but the incident comes after a series of attacks on shipping in the wider Middle East region amid a shadow war between Iran and Israel and against the backdrop of ongoing negotiations between Tehran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Yanbu, 870 kilometers (540 miles) west of Riyadh, serves as the end point of the kingdom’s crucial East-West Pipeline. It allows crude oil pumped in its eastern fields to be shipped directly via the Red Sea, avoiding the Gulf’s chokepoint at the Strait of Hormuz.

Yanbu is also home to an oil refinery that can process 400,000 barrels of crude per day.

Al Jazeera
yanbu
Screenshot of US Army exercise in Saudi Arabia at Yanbu Port

The US Army has been conducting a logsitics exercise at the port of Yanbu during the month of April.

Logistic Exercises with the US Army and the 1st TSC (Theater Sustainment Command) are often international in scope.

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Featured photo: Twitter photo @aawsat_eng

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