Saudi Arabia has acted with restraint after drone attacks

A measured, calibrated response after ascertaining the facts on the ground is the best way forward.

Published: Mon 16 Sep 2019, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 17 Sep 2019, 12:00 AM

There are all-weather friends and there are fair-weather friends. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are friends for all the right reasons and this was on show after the drone attacks on the kingdom's oil facilities on Sunday. The two countries pledged that the incident would only strengthen their bonds and that they would work closely to take on the menace of terrorism and cross-border violence. Both the countries have been partners in the Arab coalition to oust the Houthi militia in Yemen. They have seen off some rough times together but the attack on Saudi oil facilities is clearly an escalation by the enemy. With the US in a hurry to allege that Iran is the perpetrator (Tehran denies this) and the Houthis claiming responsibility, some war-mongering media are busy predicting a conflict. Indeed, it is a dangerous situation as the drone attacks have hit oil production and threatens Saudi Arabia. What will the response be? A measured, calibrated response after ascertaining the facts on the ground is the best way forward. Jumping to conclusions or jumping the gun as the US is doing is not a solution when tensions are already running high.

The US has warned Iran of military action, which could further rattle oil markets and fuel panic among investors. Investigations into the attacks must be expedited and the group or country responsible punished, but with solid evidence. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the UAE was solidly behind Saudi Arabia in this crisis. "Our shared goals are the security of our nations," Sheikh Mohamed said. It was a call for calm, stability and strategic patience - vital elements when accusations and denials are flying around. There is need for action, but at a time and place of the kingdom's choosing with help from friends like the UAE and the world community. Saudi Arabia understands its role as the head of Opec and the world's largest exporter of crude. It has a huge responsibility. The kingdom has acted with restraint for which it must be commended. An investigation should get to the bottom of these coordinated drone attacks. Till then it would be unwise to rush into any retaliation.

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