Yemen's Houthis claim they attacked Saudi cities, Aramco facilities

Published November 20, 2021
In this July 8, 2020 photo, Houthi fighters man a machine gun mounted on a military truck as they parade during a gathering of Houthi loyalists on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen. — Reuters/File
In this July 8, 2020 photo, Houthi fighters man a machine gun mounted on a military truck as they parade during a gathering of Houthi loyalists on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen. — Reuters/File

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement said on Saturday it had fired 14 drones at several Saudi Arabian cities, including at Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah.

The Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said in a televised press conference that the group had attacked Aramco's refineries in Jeddah as well as military targets in Riyadh, Jeddah, Abha, Jizan and Najran.

Sarea's statement contained inaccuracies. It mentioned the wrong name for the international airport in Jeddah and the wrong location for King Khalid base, saying it was in Riyadh when it is actually in the south of the kingdom.

Saudi Aramco, the state oil firm, said when contacted by Reuters that it would respond at the earliest opportunity.

Editorial: Yemen truce offer

Meanwhile, state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen as saying that it had attacked 13 targets during a military operation against the Houthis.

The operation hit weapons depots, air defence systems and drones' communication systems in Sanaa, Saada, and Marib provinces of Yemen, the coalition said.

The Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis in Yemen had on Friday said it destroyed three drones launched towards southern Saudi Arabia and a fourth over Yemen. It said the group “failed to launch two ballistic missiles” and they fell inside Yemen.

The Houthis have repeatedly launched cross border attacks on Saudi Arabia using drones and missiles since the coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the movement ousted the Saudi-backed government from the capital, Sanaa.

Aramco's refinery in Jeddah was decommissioned in 2017 but it has a petroleum products distribution plant there that the Houthis had previously targeted in March.

Efforts led by the UN and the US to engineer a ceasefire in Yemen have stalled.

The conflict, seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been in a military stalemate for years. The Houthis are pressing an offensive in Marib, the internationally recognised government's last northern stronghold, as well as in other areas in Yemen.

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