Yemen’s Houthis hit Saudi Aramco site in Jeddah

Houthi rebels strike an oil facility in the port city in an attack confirmed by Saudi authorities.

A logo sits on display outside an oil storage tank in the Juaymah tank farm at Saudi Aramco''s Ras Tanura oil refinery and terminal at Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018
State oil giant Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment [Simon Dawson/Bloomberg]

Yemen’s Houthi rebel group has said it struck a distribution station operated by oil giant Saudi Aramco with a missile in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah.

The attack was confirmed later on Monday by a Saudi official quoted by the Saudi state news agency (SPA), who said a fire broke out in a fuel tank at a petroleum products distribution station in north Jeddah “as a result of a terrorist attack with a projectile”.

The official said firefighting teams managed to extinguish the fire, with no injuries or casualties, adding that Saudi Aramco’s supply of fuel to its customers was not affected.

The oil company’s production and export facilities are mostly in Saudi’s Eastern province, more than 1,000km (621 miles) across the country from Jeddah.

Announcing the attack, a military spokesman for the Houthis warned “operations will continue”.

Yahya Sarea said the attack was carried out with a Quds-2 type winged missile. He also posted a satellite image with the label: “north Jeddah bulk plant-Saudi Aramco”.

“The strike was very accurate, and ambulances and fire engines rushed to the target,” Sarea said.

That facility is just southeast of Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, an important site that handles incoming Muslim pilgrims en route to nearby Mecca.

Renewed violence

Yemen has been mired in conflict since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the Yemeni government removed from power in the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces in late 2014.

Cross-border attacks by Houthi forces have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the novel coronavirus pandemic expired. The Saudi-led coalition has responded with air strikes on the Houthi-held territory.

The Houthis control most of north Yemen and most large urban areas. They say they are fighting a corrupt system.

Sarea said the strike was carried out in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in Yemen.

The claimed attack came just after a visit by outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the kingdom to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The kingdom also just hosted the annual G20 summit, which concluded on Sunday.

Source: News Agencies