Monday, April 19, 2021

Yemen Houthis attacked Oil heartland of Saudi Arabia

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Yemen Houthis forces on Sunday fired drones and rockets at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. Also including the Saudi Aramco plant in Ras Tanura, which is significant for oil exports.

When announcing the attacks, Yemen Houthis, who have been battling the Saudi-led coalition for six years, said they had also attacked military targets in the Saudi cities of Damam, Asir and Jazan.

The Saudi energy ministry said an oil storage facility at Ras Tanura, the site of the world’s largest offshore oil refinery and gas station, was attacked by drones from the sea. The Defense Department said, “The armed drone was intercepted and destroyed before reaching its destination.”

A piece of a fired missile crashed close to a residential complex in Dhahran. The ministry added that none of the attacks resulted in casualties or property loss.

The attacks pushed the price of Brent oil above $70 a barrel to the highest since January 2020. But US crude futures hit their highest prices since October 2018.

“The act of sabotage aimed not only at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also at the security and stability of the world’s energy supply. Also for the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement to state media.

Houthis are damaging Saudi Arabia

The Saudi-led coalition earlier said, “It had intercepted 12 armed drones aimed at “civilian targets” without specifying its location. As well as two ballistic missiles fired at Jazan.”

The site attacked is on the Persian Gulf coast, where most of Aramco’s manufacturing and export facilities are located. In 2019, Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, was rocked by massive rocket and drone attacks on an oil platform just kilometers from the facilities that hit on Sunday. Saudi Arabia is accusing Iran for these attacks but Tehran denies this.

The attack forced Saudi Arabia to temporarily halt more than half of its crude oil production. It is leading to a huge price hike.

Escalation

Yemen Houthis military spokesman Yahya Sareya said, “Sunday that the group fired 14 drones and eight ballistic missiles as part of a major operation in the heart of Saudi Arabia”.

Houthis recently stepped up cross-border attacks in Saudi Arabia when the United States and the United Nations called for a ceasefire to revive stale political talks to end the war.

The movement announced it had fired rockets at the Aramco oil distribution facility in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Houthis had also attacked in November 2020 and hit a storage tank. Authorities in Aramco and Saudi Arabia did not comment on Thursday’s requests.

The conflict widely viewed in the region as a proxy war.

Colonel Turki al-Malki, spokesman Saudi Arabia said, “The ministry would take “all necessary precautions to protect its national assets.”

Yemen Houthis attack in response of Sanaa Strike

Earlier, the coalition said it carried out military strikes against the Houthis in Sanaa and other Yemeni areas on Sunday. That was for warning that “civilian targets are red lines in the kingdom”.

The Houthis said to have been pushed after the new US administration in February scrapped the definition of a terrorist group imposed by former President Donald Trump’s administration and supported by Riyadh.

Last week, the US Treasury Department sanctioned two Houthi military leaders in the first ever sanctions against a group of President Joe Biden’s government after attacks on Saudi cities escalated and fighting intensified in Yemen’s Marib region.

In Sanaa, media eyewitness reported several air strikes. Houthi-run Al Masirah TV said coalition military planes bombed the Al-Nahda and Attan areas.

In February, Biden announced a suspension of US support for coalition offensive operations but said the United States would continue to help Saudi Arabia defend itself. The war stalled for years has killed many people and pushed Yemen to the edge of starvation. Houthis said they were fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.

Read Also: Houthis attack Saudi airport leaves civilian plane on fire

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