Yemeni Houthis Claim Missile and Drone Attack on Saudi Oil Refinery

The oil refinery is operated by Saudi Aramco, in the city of Jizan, and produces 400,000 barrels per day

A large oil facility in the city of Jizan in southern Saudi Arabia was hit by Yemeni Houthi forces in missile and drone attacks overnight, said a Houthi military spokesman, on Monday. The oil refinery is operated by Saudi Aramco and produces 400,000 barrels per day. Aramco, however, declined to comment.

"With many drones our armed forces targeted military aircraft, pilot accommodation and Patriot systems in Khamis Mushait, and other military targets at Abha, Jizan and Najran airports," said Yahya Sarea, a Houthi military spokesman.

No Confirmation About Interception from Saudi Arabia

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis said earlier it had intercepted and destroyed four missiles and six explosive drones fired by the Houthis over the border towards Saudi Arabia. But there was no Saudi confirmation of where they were intercepted or whether anything was hit.

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"Additionally, the giant oil facility in the Jizan industrial zone. The strike was accurate." Khamis Mushait, Abha, Jizan and Najran are all in southwest Saudi Arabia near the Yemen border.

Cross-border attacks by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the coronavirus pandemic expired. In late June, missiles reached the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The coalition, in a statement published by Saudi state news agency SPA, did not say where the objects were intercepted but said the drones had been launched from the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa towards Saudi Arabia.

Response to Coalition Aggression

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed, internationally recognized government from Sanaa in late 2014. The Houthis, who control most large urban centres, say they are fighting a corrupt system.

Houthi spokesman Sarea said the attack into Saudi was a response to coalition aggression in Yemen, citing as the most recent example an airstrike on Hajjah governorate that Houthi-run Saba news said took place on Sunday and killed 10 civilians.

Humanitarian organizations Oxfam and Save the Children condemned that reported strike and the coalition on Monday said its Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) would investigate it.

The United Nations has started virtual talks among the warring parties on a permanent ceasefire and confidence-building steps to restart peace negotiations. But discussions have been complicated by the surge in violence since the ceasefire expired. The war has killed more than 100,000 people and caused what the United Nations describes as the world's largest humanitarian crisis.

(With inputs from agencies)