Sunday, March 7th, 2021
State company Aramco in its sights
Houthi rebels attack Saudis oil depots
A civil war has been raging in Yemen since 2014 between the Riyadh-supported government and the Shiite Houthi rebels supported by Iran. The latter confess to attacks on several targets in Saudi Arabia, including an oil depot of the state-owned Aramco.
According to their own statements, the Houthi rebels in Yemen have again attacked a plant owned by the Aramco oil company in neighboring Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy confirmed that an oil storage facility in the port of Ras Tanura was 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” targeting the world’s energy supplies. The military spokesman for the Houthi, Jahja Sari, announced that they had met both Aramco facilities and military targets in the coastal town of Dammam on the Persian Gulf. 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, the state-owned company Aramco has its headquarters there. The US consulate in Dhahran warned US citizens of “possible rocket attacks and explosions” in the area and urged them to be vigilant about possible further attacks stay. 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. In 2019 there were two attacks on Aramco facilities. 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.