Saudi Arabia reportedly considers the drone attack on its oil industry, which killed no one, to be 'their 9/11'

Storage tanks are seen at the North Jiddah bulk plant, an Aramco oil facility, in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. The weekend drone attack in Buqyaq on one of the world's largest crude oil processing plants that dramatically cut into global oil supplies is the most visible sign yet of how Aramco's stability and security is directly linked to that of its owner -- the Saudi government and its ruling family. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)Storage tanks are seen at the North Jiddah bulk plant, an Aramco oil facility, in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. The weekend drone attack in Buqyaq on one of the world's largest crude oil processing plants that dramatically cut into global oil supplies is the most visible sign yet of how Aramco's stability and security is directly linked to that of its owner -- the Saudi government and its ruling family. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)Associated Press

  • Saudi Arabia's ruling family considers Saturday's drone attack on an oil facility "their 9/11," a senior US official in the region reportedly said.
  • Donald Trump's Iran envoy Brian Hook made the comment to Capitol Hill staffers on Monday, CNN and The Daily Beast reported, citing sources on the call.
  • Saturday's drone attack hit 5% of the world's daily oil supply, and took more than five million barrels of oil offline per day.
  • There were no human casualties in the attack. Almost 3,000 people were killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • Saudi Aramco hoped to restore one third of production by Monday. The Department of Energy will give an update at 8:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. ET) on Tuesday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Saudi Arabia's ruling family reportedly considers Saturday's devastating drone attack on the world's largest oil facility "their 9/11." 

Donald Trump's special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, made the comment to administration staff during a call on Monday, CNN national security reporter Zachary Cohen wrote on Twitter, citing sources privy to the call.

Cohen tweeted: "Hook told staffers that the Saudis view this attack as 'their 9/11'."

Saturday's attack hit 5% of the world's daily oil supply, and took more than five million barrels of oil per day offline. There were no human casualties. 

Read more: The devastating attack on Saudi oil plants confirms the worst fears about low-tech drones in the wrong hands

The Daily Beast also reported on Hook's comments Monday, citing sources with knowledge of the call.

Trump was also made aware that the Saudis considered the attack akin to 9/11, according to a source who spoke with The Daily Beast. The source said he "appeared 'unmoved' by the analogy."

Hussein Ibish, senior scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute, told The Daily Beast the comparison was no exaggeration.

SAUDI ATTACK IMAGESA composite image of two satellite photographs which show areas of Saudi oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.AP/Business Insider

"From an American perspective, it seems like a trivialization of the tragedy of 9/11, and perhaps offensively so, but from a Saudi point of view it is a way of explaining their shock to Americans." 

2,977 civilians and 19 terrorists were killed on September 11, 2001, when hijackers crashed planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Read more: Trump boasts the US is 'very high on ammunition' while discussing prospect of war with Iran after Saudi oil field attacks

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly called the attack an "egregious crime, which threatens international peace and security" on Monday.

Saudi Arabia oil attack aramcoSmoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019.VIDEOS OBTAINED BY REUTERS/via REUTERS

Oil is the cornerstone of the kingdom's economy, and has been the vehicle for fast-paced technological advances in recent years.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans to diversify the kingdom away from a dependence on oil in 2016, but the ministry's response to the attack casts light on just how important Saudi Aramco is to the regime.

Read more: From an unexplored desert to a $2 trillion IPO: The 84-year history of Saudi Aramco in pictures

Saudi Aramco had hoped to restore one third of daily production by Monday, a source told the Wall Street Journal, but it is unclear if it has been able to do so.

The Saudi Department of Energy will give an update on the damage at 8:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. ET) on Tuesday.

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