Iran-Backed Houthis Attack Saudi Petroleum Storage Facilities

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Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi party says it struck Saudi petroleum facilities in Jeddah with missiles yesterday, just as Saudi Arabia prepares to hold a motor race on Sunday. The missiles caused fires in two storage tanks, however there were no casualties. A Houthi spokesman says they targeted ‘vital facilities’. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter.

Saudi’s energy ministry said the kingdom strongly condemned the “sabotage attacks”, stressing that it is in no way responsible if the global oil supply suffers from the attacks. The Houthis have recently upped attacks against Saudi Arabia, and Saudi state media earlier said the coalition had foiled a line of Houthi drone and rocket attacks. Saudi air defences also destroyed a ballistic missile launched towards Jizan, which caused a “limited” fire at an electricity distribution plant.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the attacks on ally Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the UN works to find a temporary truce between the two nations before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan starts in April.

Saudi Arabia has been fighting with the Iran-backed Houthis since they seized control of Yemen in 2015. While Saudi Arabia is a Sunni-majority country, Iran is a Shia-majority country, and its proxy groups abroad such as the Houthis are Shias.

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