Yemen's Houthi rebels said on Thursday they launched a missile attack against a Saudi Arabian oil facility in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Riyadh did not immediately confirm the attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militia which it is fighting alongside the United Arab Emirates.
The Yemeni rebels had launched a few similar attacks against Saudi Aramco's oil facilities in and around Jeddah last year as well.
Early Morning Attack
The Houthi military spokesman, Yahya Sarea, said on Twitter that the attack against Aramco was launched at dawn and that the militia used winged missile to strike the target, Reuters reported.
The Houthi official also posted an image that shows the coordinates of a petroleum products distribution plant in Jeddah.
In December, a Saudi oil tanker was hit by an external source, official said, raising fears of a fresh attack on Saudi Arabian assets by the Yemeni rebel forces.
Again in July 2020, 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. The oil refinery, operated by Saudi Aramco, produces 400,000 barrels per day. "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," the Houthi spokesman had said.
Increasing Cross-border Attacks
Cross-border attacks by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement have escalated since late May last year, when a truce prompted by the coronavirus pandemic expired. In late June, missiles reached the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Earlier on Thursday, the Saudi-UAE coalition said it stopped an armed drone launched towards the southern city of Khamis Mushait.
The Houthi rebel forces have been targeting Riyadh ever since Saudi Arabia joined hands with the UAE coalition in March 2015 when the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed, internationally recognized government from Sanaa in late 2014.
The Yemeni rebel forces have been launching retaliatory strikes against Saudi Arabia over Riyadh's military campaign against them. The movement now controls northern Yemen and have stepped up cross-border drone and missile attacks on Saudi cities.