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The Iran-affiliated Houthi movement in Yemen claimed on Wednesday that it targeted Saudi Aramco facilities in Jizan, a city just north of Yemen on the Red Sea, but Saudi Arabia has not yet confirmed or denied the report.
The alleged Houthi attack came as retaliation for “escalating air strikes,” on Yemen by the Saudi coalition, and if confirmed, this would be the first attack from Yemen’s Houthis on targets in Saudi Arabia since the end of September, Reuters notes.
Back in September, just after the attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities Abqaiq and Khurais, the Houthis pledged to halt attacks with drones and ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabian targets if Saudi Arabia stopped air strikes on Yemen.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are 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.
Yahya Saria, a military spokesman for the Houthi movement, said on Wednesday, as carried by Reuters, that apart from facilities owned by Saudi Aramco, the Houthis also targeted the airports of Abha and Jizan.
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 Houthi rebels in Yemen were not the ones who launched the drone and missile attack on Saudi oil infrastructure last September, a confidential report from the UN revealed earlier this month.
“That despite their claims to the contrary, the Houthi forces did not launch the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais on 14 September 2019,” Reuters quoted the report’s authors from the UN Security Council Yemen sanctions committee as saying.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.