Houthis claim attacks on Saudi oil facilities


A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20th, 2019. [Fayez Nureldine/AFP]

A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20th, 2019. [Fayez Nureldine/AFP]

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) said Wednesday (January 29th) they had launched missile and drone attacks on Saudi targets, including oil facilities belonging to energy giant Aramco.

Houthi forces attacked "Aramco (facilities) in Jizan, Abha and Jizan airports, Khamis Mushait base and vital targets deep inside Saudi Arabia with a large number of missiles and drones", spokesman Yahya al-Saree told a press conference in Sanaa.

Al-Saree did not specify when the strikes were carried out and neither Aramco nor the Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government immediately responded to requests for confirmation.

But Saudi officials familiar with the matter said all strikes on Saudi Arabia last week were foiled, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Saudi Arabia's air defense forces shot down the missiles aimed at Saudi Aramco oil facilities, they said.

Attacks on Aramco oil facilities last September caused massive damage, halving the kingdom's crude output temporarily and creating havoc on global oil markets.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for those strikes, but the US said the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to "an act of war". Iran denied any involvement.

Al-Saree also said the Houthis had made advances in fighting against government forces in Sanaa and other provinces, seizing Nahm district in Sanaa province and making gains in al-Jawf and Marib provinces during operations that are ongoing.

Pro-government sources admitted on Monday that the Houthis had captured the route that connects Sanaa to Marib to the east and al-Jawf to the north.

The UN Security Council convened Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Yemen, amid growing concern over the deteriorating situation and calls for the parties to re-engage in the political process, diplomats said.

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