DUBAI: A fuel tank at an oil facility in Saudi Arabia caught fire after being struck in an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, officials said on Friday, an attack that came on the sixth anniversary of the kingdom’s entry into Yemen’s yearslong civil war.
The assault at Jizan in southwest Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen came came during what Saudi defense officials described as a barrage of eight bomb-carrying drones launched by the Houthi rebels. A Houthi military spokesman later claimed a series of attacks on several Saudi military sites and oil facilities, some acknowledged by the kingdom and others not.
The kingdom has faced an increasing number of such assaults and the tempo hasn’t slowed since it offered a cease-fire deal to the Houthis on Monday.
The attack in Jizan, some 970 kilometers (600 miles) southwest of Riyadh on the Red Sea, struck a distribution facility just after 9 p.m. Thursday, the Saudi Energy Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. “The attack resulted in a fire in one of the terminal’s tanks,” the statement said, without elaborating. “The attack left no casualties.”
Saudi Arabia did not specifically identify the area struck. However, Jizan is home to a new refinery and port facilities for the energy giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. The refinery, with a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day, sent its first shipment abroad last year. Jizan also is transliterated from Arabic as Jazan by Aramco.
Jizan and its new refinery long have been targeted by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in their campaign against the kingdom. However, satellite pictures from Planet Labs Inc. taken on Friday morning and analyzed by The Associated Press did not immediately appear to show any damage at that facility.
In a televised speech, Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yehia Sarie claimed that the rebels targeted several Aramco sites in the cities of Jizan, Ras Tanura, Yanbu and Rabigh with 18 drones and eight ballistic missiles. Sarie also claimed the rebels launched another salvo of 12 drones and eight ballistic missiles at King Abdulaziz Air base in Dammam, as six drones also struck military sites in Asir and Najran provinces.
“The operation has successfully fulfilled its objectives,” Sarie said. “We affirm that we are ready to carry out a more severe and more cruel military operation in the coming period.”
The kingdom did not acknowledge a wave of attacks at the scale. Claims and counterclaims between the kingdom and the rebels have been common throughout the war.
News Source: The Times Of India