Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missile and drone attacks on energy and civilian sites near Yemen, the latest flare-up in one of the world’s most most important regions for oil shipments.
The Associated Press on Friday reported a fire at an oil depot in Jeddah, just ahead of an F1 race in the city, with Yemen’s Houthi rebels acknowledging that they had launched a series of attacks. The report was unconfirmed.
Saudi Aramco closed its only refinery in Jeddah in 2017 and most of the company’s infrastructure there is aimed at local supply. The company can call on fuel depots in other areas of regions to address shortages and balance supply needs.
Aramco media officials did not immediately respond to an email and call on Friday, a weekend day in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen intercepted a ballistic missile and 10 bomb-laden drones, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Oil rose following the reports.
The missile was aimed at Najran, in the southwest of the kingdom. Nine drones were heading toward targets in southern, central and eastern regions, the SPA said, without giving details. Another drone, bound for the Red Sea port city of Jazan, was intercepted later, according to the press agency.
A projectile fell on a power distribution station in Samtah, causing a small fire, the SPA said on Twitter. No casualties were reported. A strike also hit the tanks of the National Water Company in Dhahran Al-Janoub, Al-Arabiya reported. Civilian vehicles and residential houses were also hit, it said.
A spokesperson for Yemen’s Houthi groups said a statement would be issued in the coming hours.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, has suffered regular drone and missile attacks carried out by Yemen’s Houthis on its territory over the past two years. Earlier this week, the kingdom it called on the international community to do more to counter the strikes and warned that they could disrupt global energy supplies.
The coalition began a military campaign in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis after they took over the capital and dislodged the internationally recognized government. The war has devolved into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. –Bloomberg
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