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Houthis Claim Drone Attack On Saudi Aramco Oil Facility

The Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen targeted with a drone a facility of Saudi Aramco in the southwestern Saudi city Jizan, a military spokesman for the rebels wrote on Twitter, as carried by Reuters.

The Houthis also targeted the King Khalid air base with two drones, the spokesman said.

Saudi Arabia has not yet confirmed a drone attack on the Jizan facility.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday that the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, “strongly condemned the Houthi militia’s failed attempts to target civilians in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia using three bomb-laden UAVs, which had been intercepted and destroyed by the forces of Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.”

A Saudi-led Arab coalition has been fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen since 2015. 

The Houthis have claimed numerous drone and drone-and-missile attacks on targets in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, including oil facilities of the Saudi state oil giant Aramco.

Last week, the Houthi rebels claimed yet another attack on Aramco facilities, involving 17 drones and two ballistic missiles. Three weeks earlier, a petroleum products distribution terminal in Jizan, Saudi Arabia, was attacked, the Kingdom said, blaming the Houthi movement and vowing to take measures to preserve the stability of global oil supply.

Over the weekend, the Financial Times reported, citing three officials, that Saudi Arabia and Iran held direct talks in Iraq this month. The talks reportedly involved the proxy war in Yemen and the recent increase of attacks from the Houthi rebels in Yemen on oil facilities and oil infrastructure targets in Saudi Arabia. 

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh declined earlier this week to either confirm or deny talks with Saudi Arabia were held, while a senior Saudi official denied to FT that any talks with Iran had been held.

Potential de-escalation of the Iran-Saudi relations could defuse some of the tension in the Middle East, a critical oil-producing region, which also hosts the most important oil chokepoints along the sea routes.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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