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Saudi-led coalition forces conducted airstrikes against Houthi military bases in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, Bloomberg reported, citing local residents and a Houthi-controlled TV channel.
The attacks, according to the report, targeted military camps and Houthi facilities near the Sanaa airport and the suburbs of the city. They came in response to a Houthi drone attack on Saudi oil facilities that took place on Friday. According to Saudi media, the attack did not cause any damage.
This is just the latest in a series of airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis, after the Yemeni rebel group, which is affiliated with Iran, struck a Saudi oil target earlier this month.
“The missile forces managed today to strike [a facility] of the Saudi Aramco company in Jeddah with a Quds 2 cruise missile. The strike was precise,” a spokesman for the Houthis said in early March. The Saudi side later confirmed the attack but said it had inflicted no significant damage.
At the time, the Houthis warned there will be more attacks against Saudi targets and advised foreign companies and Saudi Arabia residents to be cautious.
The Saudi response came soon enough in a series of airstrikes, with 32 carried out on March 9 alone, Zerohedge reported at the time.
Saudi Arabia and the Houthis have been locked in a conflict since 2015. Many see it as a proxy war between the Saudis and the Iranian backers of the Yemeni rebel group, which overthrew the Saudi-affiliated Yemeni government and tried to assume power over the country.
Oil facilities in Saudi Arabia are a favorite target for the Houthis because of the Kingdom’s reliance on oil revenues. The most notable attack that the Yemeni rebel group claimed responsibility for was the September 2019 attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities that cut off 5 percent of daily global supply for weeks, sending oil prices soaring. Saudi Arabia and the United States have said that it was Iran—and not the Houthis—who was responsible for the attack.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.
To ensure the safety of its oil installations, Saudi Arabia has no alternative but to end its unwinnable and costly war in Yemen and build bridges of trust with Iran.
This will end the misery and hardship of the Yemeni people and save Saudi Arabia billions of dollars in lost oil revenues and costs of repairing the damaged installations. Geopolitically it will bring relative peace to the Gulf region.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London