Yemen rebels claim attack on Saudi oil facility in Jiddah
Dubai: Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they struck a Saudi oil facility in the port city of Jiddah on Monday with a new cruise missile, just hours after the kingdom finished hosting its virtual Group of 20 leaders summit.
The kingdom did not immediately acknowledge any attack as videos on social media suggested a fire at an Aramco oil facility.
Brig. Gen. Yehia Sarie, a Houthi military spokesman, tweeted that the rebels fired a new Quds 2 cruise missile at the facility. He posted a satellite image online that matched Aramco’s North Jiddah Bulk Plant, where oil products are stored in tanks.
That facility is just southeast of Jiddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, a major facility that handles incoming Muslim pilgrims en route to nearby Mecca.
Online videos appeared to show a tank farm similar to the bulk plant on fire. Details of the videos posted predawn Monday matched the general layout of the bulk plant.
Saudi state-run media did not immediately acknowledge the Houthi claim.
Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s oil giant that now has a sliver of its worth traded publicly on the stock market, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The claimed attack comes just after a visit by outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the kingdom to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom also just hosted the annual G20 summit, which concluded on Sunday.
A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Iranian-backed Houthis since March 2015, months after the rebels seized Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. The war has ground into a stalemate since, with Saudi Arabia facing international criticism for its airstrikes killing civilians.