The Houthis in Yemen stated that they attacked the Saudi energy infrastructure on Friday, and the Saudi-led coalition reported that the attack targeted oil giant Aramco’s petroleum products distribution station in Jeddah, causing a fire in two storage tanks. No injuries were reported.
According to one eyewitness, a big plume of black smoke could be seen rising over the Red Sea city where the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is being held this weekend.
In recent weeks, the Iran-aligned Houthis have increased their attacks against the kingdom’s oil facilities, just before a short cease-fire for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Despite the coalition’s repeated claims that it is exercising restraint in the face of the attacks, it launched a military operation in Yemen early on Saturday, claiming that it was necessary to secure global energy sources and supply routes.
The fire had been brought under control, according to a coalition statement broadcast on state television on Friday. In live footage broadcast by the Saudi-owned Ekhbariya television channel, flames could still be seen.
According to state news agency SPA, citing a Saudi energy ministry official, the kingdom strongly condemned the ‘sabotage attacks,’ reaffirming that it would not bear responsibility for any global oil supply interruptions caused by such attacks.
The ministry criticised Iran for continuing to provide the Houthis with ballistic missiles and advanced drones, warning that the strikes would ‘have a negative impact on the Kingdom’s production capacity and ability to meet its obligations to global markets.’ Teheran claims that the Houthis are not armed.