Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim missile attack on Saudi Aramco oil site

Yemen’s Houthi forces fired a cross-border missile at a Saudi Aramco facility in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, a Houthi military spokesman said on Thursday, but there was no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities.

Saudi Aramco, whose oil production and export facilities are mostly located in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, more than 1,000 km (620 miles) across the country from Jeddah, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The spokesman for the Saudi military coalition, which has been fighting the Iran-adapted Houthi movement for six years, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a Twitter post that the attack took place at dawn with a winged Quds-2 missile and had hit its target without elaborating.

He posted a picture with coordinates of what appeared to be a distribution plant for petroleum products in Jeddah that was used for domestic supplies that the Houthis struck with a Quds-2 missile in November 2020. Military experts then estimated that the missile was fired from about 700 km (430 miles) away in Houthi-controlled territory.

Aramco then said that the attack on the North Jeddah Bulk Plant hit a storage tank but did not affect deliveries.

The movement, which controls northern Yemen, has beaten Saudi energy resources in the past. In November last year, the Saudi Ministry of Energy said a limited fire broke out near a floating platform belonging to Jazan’s oil product terminal after a foiled attack with explosive-laden boats in the southern Red Sea.

The Houthis have recently intensified cross-border drones and missile attacks on Saudi cities, mostly targeting southern Saudi Arabia. The coalition says it is eavesdropping on most of the attacks.

On Thursday, the coalition destroyed a Houthi ballistic missile launched against Jazan and an armed drone was launched against Khamis Mushait, both cities in the southern part of the kingdom, state media reported.

Houthi’s Sarea said in a separate Twitter post that the Khamis Mushait attack was aimed at a military site.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis fired the internationally recognized government from power in the capital Sanaa.

The United States and the United Nations have renewed peace efforts as fighting intensified in Yemen’s gas-rich Marib region. The US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on Tuesday against two military leaders in Houthi.

The conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis deny being puppets in Tehran, saying they are fighting a corrupt system.