Middle East

Yemen rebels claim drone attacks on Saudi oilfield

Saudis say Houthi attack caused limited fire at gas plant on Shaybah oilfield

Ali Owaida   | 17.08.2019
Yemen rebels claim drone attacks on Saudi oilfield

SANAA

Yemen’s Houthi rebel group on Saturday claimed to have carried out drone attacks on oil facilities in southeastern Saudi Arabia. 

Speaking on the Houthi-run Al-Masirah television, rebel spokesman Yehia Sarie said the Shia group had launched ten drone strikes on Aramco’s Shaybah oilfield and refinery, close to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) border. 

He described the attacks as “the biggest in the depths of Saudi Arabia” since the start of the Saudi-led coalition air campaign in Yemen in 2015. 

The spokesman vowed to carry out “bigger and wider operations if the [Saudi-led] aggression continues”. 

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has confirmed the attack, describing it as a “terrorist act”, according to the official SPA news agency. 

In a statement, al-Falih said the attack had caused a limited fire at a gas plant on the Shaybah oilfield, without causing any injuries. 

The Saudi minister, however, said that the Houthi attack had no impact on oil production. 

Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter. 

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. 

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government. 

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the raging conflict since 2016, according to UN estimates. 

* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara 

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