Some of the largest Gulf oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are seeking to sign a written treaty with the United States under which the U.S. could provide defense support after attacks from Yemen have intensified, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, quoting sources with knowledge of the proposal.
Ideally, the major oil exporters in the Arab Gulf would seek a formal treaty with the United States, the sources told Bloomberg, but expanded and revised bilateral defense support agreements could also work, one of the sources said.
The UAE is also reportedly asking Israel to help push the case, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
Several high-profile attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE have occurred since the start of the year. All attacks were claimed by or attributed to the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen.
In January, an attack with drones on the UAE, for which the Houthi rebels later claimed responsibility, killed several people and blew up fuel tanker trucks near storage facilities owned by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
Back then, the United States strongly condemned the attack, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, adding that “Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering and we stand beside our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory.”
Most recently, videos emerged on social media last week, suggesting that the Houthi rebels had launched a barrage of missiles on Saudi Arabia on Friday morning that have hit a Saudi Aramco oil facility in Jeddah.
This strike was the second such strike launched by the Houthi militia in five days on Aramco’s facilities in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis used missiles and drones to target at least six Aramco’s sites the previous week, prompting Riyadh to state that it is not responsible for high oil prices and suggesting that OPEC has no intention of raising production beyond what has already been agreed to by the cartel.