Drones Attack Saudi Arabia Oil Facilities, Houthis Claim Responsibility

  • Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating that it sent ten drones to affect the bombing.
  • The UN and Western countries accuse Tehran of providing weapons and funding the group, something the Iranian government vehemently denies.
  • Last month, an attack claimed by the rebels  set fire to the natural gas liquefaction refinery near the border with the United Arab Emirates.

Drone attacks sparked massive fires at Saudi Arabia’s government-owned Saudi Aramco refinery and oilfield, and caused major damage, according to reports from the Ministry of Interior. Yemeni rebels have since claimed responsibility for the heinous attack.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue, and according to accounts seen by Bloomberg News, the most profitable company in the world.

Aramco industrial security teams immediately swung into action after the attack and began fighting the fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais. The fires were caused by drones, and the teams managed to put them under control.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior in a statement confirmed that the fires had been put under control by its security teams and investigations had since been opened. It, however, did not disclose the origin of the drones and did not report whether there were any casualties or if operations at the facility were affected.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating that it sent ten drones to affect the bombing. They promised more attacks on Saudi Arabia in the future, on the grounds that it is leading a military coalition against them in Yemen.

The extent of the damage is still unclear, and journalists were barred from accessing the premises, which had tight security. According to Aramco, the Abqaiq refinery is the largest oil stabilization plant in the world. The unit processes crude oil which is later transported by pipeline to regions in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The site is estimated to process up to 7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

The Houthi movement, officially called Ansar Allah, is an Islamic religious-political-armed movement that emerged from Sa’dah in northern Yemen in the 1990s. The Houthis took part in the 2011 Yemeni Revolution, and, in 2015, Houthis took over the government in Sanaʽa with the help of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In recent months, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels carried out a series of border missile and drone bombings on Saudi air bases and other facilities in the country. The UN and Western countries accuse Tehran of providing weapons and funding the group, something the Iranian government vehemently denies.

Last month, an attack claimed by the rebels  set fire to the natural gas liquefaction refinery near the border with the United Arab Emirates. The group also attacked two oil pumping stations in the country’s east-west pipeline in May, shutting down its operation for several days.

The bombings are a reaction to airstrikes conducted by Saudi Arabia in rebel-held regions in Yemen. Since March 2015, the Saudis have led attacks against the Houthi rebel group, which controls the country’s capital Sanaa. Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab region, and the ongoing civil war has caused a humanitarian catastrophe. The conflict has already cost at least 90,000 lives.

Saturday’s attack is expected to further heighten tensions in the Persian Gulf amid clashes between the United States and Iran over the nuclear deal signed with the Arab country and world powers. The US crisis with Iran began after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 by the two countries with the participation of Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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