Saudi Arabia has thwarted a planned attack with explosives against an oil products terminal near the border with Yemen, the Kingdom said early on Friday, adding that the attempted attack was the deed of the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Saudi forces intercepted and destroyed on Wednesday evening two unmanned boats carrying explosives to a floating offloading platform that belongs to an oil products terminal at the port city of Jizan in southwestern Saudi Arabia just north of the border with Yemen, the official Saudi Press Agency reported early on Friday, quoting an official source at the Saudi Ministry of Energy.
The operation resulted in a limited fire on the platform’s floating hoses, which was soon extinguished and caused no injuries or fatalities, the Saudi agency said.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the cowardly attack, adding that such criminal acts directed against vital facilities do not target the Kingdom alone, but they also target the security of oil exports, the stability of energy supplies to the world, the freedom of international trade, and the entire global economy,” the energy ministry source told the Saudi Press Agency.
Houthi rebels have frequently attacked, or tried to attack, oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, especially facilities close to the border with Yemen, that are within rocket or unmanned drone reach.
Saudi Arabia, for its part, often claims it has foiled attacks from the Houthi rebels.
Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and Iran have been essentially fighting a proxy war in Yemen, where the Saudis lead a military Arab coalition to “restore legitimacy” in the country, while the Houthi movement, which holds the capital Sanaa, is backed by Iran.
The Houthis have claimed responsibility for the September 14 attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities that cut off 5 percent of daily global supply for weeks. But Saudi Arabia and the United States have said that it was Iran—and not the Houthis—who was responsible for the attack.
The Saudis and the U.S. blamed the attack on Iran, claiming evidence showed the missiles had been fired from the north rather than the south, where Yemen is.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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