Saudi Arabia: Drones attack Riyadh oil facility, no damage

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A drone attack struck an oil set up in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh on Friday, the Saudi state-run information company reported, igniting a blaze on the facility deep within the kingdom’s territory.

The daybreak attack induced no accidents or damage, and didn’t disrupt oil provides, based on the official Saudi Press Agency.

The kingdom is dealing with extra frequent airborne assaults as Saudi-led coalition forces battle Iran-backed Houthi rebels throughout the southern border in Yemen. Most lately, drones struck Ras Tanura, the nation’s largest crude oil refinery with capability of 550,000 barrels a day, elevating considerations concerning the increasing capabilities of Saudi Arabia’s regional foes.

Details about Friday’s attack remained slim, and authorities didn’t identify the ability. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the dominion’s oil big, operates a refinery simply southeast of Riyadh that produces gasoline, diesel, jet gas and different merchandise for consumption across the capital.

Satellite photographs from Planet Labs Inc., analysed by The Associated Press, confirmed no instantly seen damage on the Riyadh refinery.

Saudi Aramco, which now has a sliver of its value traded publicly on the inventory market, didn’t reply to a request for remark. The worldwide crude benchmark, Brent, rose to over USD 62 a barrel. Aramco inventory fell 0.85 per cent Friday on Riyadh’s Tadawul inventory change.

The Saudi assertion didn’t blame the Houthis for Friday’s attack. But just a few hours earlier, Houthi army spokesman Brig. Gen. Yehia Sarie reported the group had fired six drones at an unnamed Aramco facility in Riyadh, with out offering proof for what he described as a “high-accuracy hit.” Riyadh lies some 1,000 kilometers (over 600 miles) from Yemen’s soil, however the rebels have fired drones and missiles on the Saudi capital earlier than.

The Houthis later Friday mentioned two extra drones attacked the King Khalid air base within the southern province of Khamis Mushait, a frequent goal of the rebels. The Saudi-led coalition didn’t acknowledge that strike. Flights coming into the close by Abha airport briefly diverted or in any other case flew in circles with out rationalization Friday night, based on monitoring knowledge from web site FlightRadar24.com.

While Houthi-claimed assaults on Saudi Arabia not often trigger damage, strikes on main oil services within the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, elevate the chance of a disruption in world oil provides. In the autumn of 2019, a drone and missile attack struck two key Saudi oil installations and halted about half of the nation’s oil provides. Although the Houthis claimed duty, each Washington and Riyadh blamed Tehran for the attack. Iran denied involvement.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis since March 2015, months after the rebels swept into Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and seized a lot of the nation’s north. Now mired in stalemate, the struggle has killed about 130,000 folks, together with greater than 12,000 civilians, and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian disaster in a rustic that was already the Arab world’s most impoverished nation.

Saudi Arabia has confronted worldwide criticism for its airstrikes which have killed civilians and hit non-military targets in Yemen.

From Yemen, the place the rebels have been pushing aggressively to take the final authorities stronghold of Marib, Houthi chief Mohammed Ali al-Houthi proposed a nationwide cease-fire, conditional, nonetheless, on long-held insurgent calls for.

He appealed to the Saudi-led coalition to reopen Sanaa’s airport to business flights and elevate restrictions on cargo ships inside 48 hours on the rebel-held port of Hodeida, which handles some 70 per cent of the nation’s imports. He didn’t say whether or not the Houthis would halt their weekslong offensive to seize Marib, which has despatched hundreds of individuals fleeing.

There was no instant response to al-Houthi’s proposal from the coalition or Yemen’s internationally acknowledged authorities.

The Biden administration has solid a highlight on Yemen’s ruinous struggle in latest weeks, lifting a Trump-era designation towards the Houthis, saying the top of US help for the Saudi-led coalition and dispatching the US envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, to the area to barter a political settlement. Earlier this month, Lenderking urged the Houthis to simply accept his cease-fire proposal.

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