In Yemen, war has been raging for almost six years between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and a Saudi Arabia-led military alliance on the side of the government. The Houthi have now again attacked a plant owned by the Aramco oil company in neighboring Saudi Arabia – the targets attacked are in the east of the country, where most of Aramco’s production and export facilities are located.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy confirmed late on Sunday evening that an oil warehouse in the port of Ras Tanura had been attacked by drones from the sea on Sunday morning. In the evening, rocket fragments fell near a residential area for Aramco employees in Dhahran on the Persian Gulf. There were no injuries or damage. The Saudi Defense Ministry called the attacks “terrorist, cowardly aggression” aimed at supplying the world’s energy.
The Houthis had previously announced that they had met both Aramco facilities and military targets in the coastal town of Dammam on the Persian Gulf, Houthi military spokesman Jahja Sari said on Sunday evening. The attacks were part of a larger attack on the kingdom with 14 drones and eight ballistic missiles. Dammam and the neighboring city of Dhahran are important locations for the oil industry, where the state-owned company Aramco is also based. The US consulate in Dhahran warned US citizens about “possible rocket attacks and explosions” in the area and urged them to remain vigilant about possible further attacks.
Oil price jumped after earlier attack
The Houthis had already announced in November that they had hit an Aramco facility in Jeddah with a cruise missile. According to Aramco, the attack caused an explosion and fire in a tank at a distribution station; the oil supply was therefore not impaired.
A rocket and drone attack on the facilities in 2019 forced the kingdom to suspend more than half of crude oil production, causing global oil prices to skyrocket. The Houthis claimed the attacks for themselves. The US, on the other hand, blamed Iran, which denied responsibility.
The Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, have also launched a new offensive in Yemen on the strategically important city of Marib. A military alliance led by Saudi Arabia is fighting against them alongside the Yemeni government. At the same time, the rebels have intensified their attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. The alliance said on Sunday that it had intercepted ten rebel drones within five hours.