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The attacks on Saudi soil with drones and ballistic missiles will stop, the Houthis have vowed, if Saudi Arabia will stop its airstrikes over Yemen, according to Bloomberg, who quoted Yemen Shiite Houthi rebel leader Mahdi al-Mashat, who spoke on Al Masirah TV.
The Iran-backed Houthis have claimed ownership of the devastating attacks that crippled Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure over the weekend that took offline 5.7 million barrels per day—which is half of Saudi Arabia’s total oil production--sending oil prices sharply upward.
But the United States has largely disregarded their claim, placing the blame for the weekend attacks on Saudi’s oil facilities squarely on Iran. Both Saudi Arabia and the United States claim to have proof that Iran was the perpetrator.
If that is the case, the Houthi vow to stop the attacks is a clever capitalization on the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Iran and the United States. The Houthis are also asking Saudi Arabia to reopen Sana’a airport, and to lift the blockade on the critical port Hodeidah.
The timing of the Houthi’s promise to halt the attacks if Saudi Arabia does follows the Saudi-led coalition’s military operation just north of Hodeida, according to Reuters, where they intercepted an unmanned Houthi bomb boat on Thursday, and carried out a strike on military targets.
“These sites are used to carry out attacks and terrorist operations that threaten shipping lines and international trade in the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the southern Red Sea,” a coalition spokesman said.
The Houthis claimed that yesterday’s attacks chided Saudi Arabia for yesterday’s attack, saying that it violated the ceasefire agreement that was signed last year in Sweden.
Hezbollah leadership also called on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to cease its Yemen attacks, “because your houses are made of glass,” Hassan Nasrallah warned on Friday, according to the Associated Press.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.