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Houthi Rebels Strike Aramco Oil Facilities With Drones And Missiles

The Houthi rebels from Yemen today claimed yet another attack on Saudi Aramco facilities, involving 17 drones and two ballistic missiles.

Reuters has reported the attack, according to the statement, targeted Aramco facilities in Jeddah and Jubail.

The news comes just a day after Arab News reported that Saudi forces had intercepted three drones and one ballistic missile fired at two other locations, both in southern Saudi Arabia: Khamis Mushayt and Jazan. A spokesman for the Houthis said today that these two locations were targets of their latest attacks, too.

Reuters reported earlier today the Saudi side has not yet confirmed the latest Houthi attack and noted that Aramco has a refinery in Jeddah, which was decommissioned in 2017. The site, however, still houses an oil distribution plant that has been the target of Houthi attacks before.

The attack on Jazan is the second one in as many weeks. The previous one, targeting an oil products distribution site in the town and was confirmed by the Saudis.

“The Kingdom strongly condemns this cowardly attack against vital installations. The attack does not only target the Kingdom, but also petroleum exports, the stability of energy supply to the world, freedom of world trade, as well as the global economy,” Saudi Arabia said at the time.

The late-March attack on the Jizan terminal follows attacks in recent weeks, in which the Houthis claimed a drone attack on the Riyadh refinery and a drone-and-ballistic-missile attack at oil facilities at the Saudi port of Ras Tanura, one of the world’s largest oil ports.

The latest attacks come amid an escalation in fighting between the Saudi-led coalition that seeks to reinstate Yemen’s elected government, which the Iran-backed Houthis overthrew some six years ago.

There has been talk of a ceasefire, but the Houthis want the Saudis to lift a sea and air blockade before they lay down their arms.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on April 12 2021 said:
    Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and military targets have become hostages to attacks by Iran’s allies in Yemen, the Houthis.

    It should, however, be noted that the attacks have accelerated after the Biden administration’s decision to remove the Houthis from the U.S. terrorism list. This has emboldened the Houthis to frequently attack Saudi strategic oil infrastructure targets in the Eastern Province, Saudi’s main oil and gas production region. A potential destruction of critical facilities in Ras Tanura oil terminal, the world largest, could cripple Saudi oil exports and plunge the global oil market in a very serious supply crisis.

    Saudi Arabia is well advised to end its costly and unwinnable war in Yemen and try to build bridges of trust with Iran to ensure the safety of its oil installations.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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