RIYADH: A drone attack on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia’s capital started a small fire that did not cause injuries or affect supplies, the kingdom’s energy ministry said on Friday.

The statement did not specify where the drone strike was launched from. Later, Yemen’s rebel Houthis, who have been battling a Saudi-led coalition in their country since 2015, claimed responsibility for the drone strike.

In a video statement, the rebels’ military spokesman, Brig Gen Yehia Sarie, said Houthi forces had targeted an Aramco facility in Riyadh in a multiple drone attack. He also claimed that the Houthis had carried out attacks on the Saudi company’s facilities in the areas of Jizan and Abha. The attacks, he said, were a response to the coalition tightening its blockade on the entry of fuel into Houthi-held territory in Yemen.

The ministry statement, published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, said such attacks not only target Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supply to the world.

Two American women freed

Two American women have been “rescued from captivity” in Yemen’s rebel-held capital and flown out of the country in a joint US-Saudi military operation, Saudi officials said on Friday.

The US State Department confirmed it helped the two women get out of Yemen but gave no details. The young women were “mistreated and had restrictions imposed on their movements” after visiting relatives in Sanaa, which was seized by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in 2014.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2022

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