On Thursday, Yemeni Houthi forces claimed an attack on the Aramco facilities near the Red Sea at Jeddah, though Saudi authorities have not confirmed the attack yet.
Saudi Aramco is an oil production and export facility in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and it distributes its oil mostly to the Northern Province. The Saudi-led military coalition have been fighting with the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement for the last six years. Yahya Sarea, a Houthi army spokesman, posted about the attack on Twitter stating that the attack was at dawn using a winged Quds-2 missile and had struck its target without elaborating. Moreover, he published the attack images, coordinated with an explosion at the petroleum facility, which was hit with a Quds-2 missile in November 2020. Military experts estimated that the missile was fired from about 700 km (430 miles) away in Houthi-controlled territory. Aramco, however, said that the missile strike at the North Jeddah Bulk Plant hit a storage tank but did not affect supplies.
The Yemeni Houthis have a historical track of attacking Saudi energy assets. In November 2020, according to the Saudi Ministry for Energy, after a foiled attack, a fire broke out on a floating platform that was connected to the Jazan oil products terminal.
The Houthis have now stepped-up, attacking Saudi public and military facilities with drones and missiles. But the Saudi-led coalition indicates that they intercepted most attacks. On March 4, 2021, the Saudi alliance destroyed the Houthi ballistic missile aimed at Jazan and Khamis Mushait. Spokesman Sarea confirmed both attacks in two separate posts on Twitter.
The Saudi coalition arbitrated Yemen in March 2015 in response to the Houthi’s power show in the capital, Sanaa. The United Nations have re-introduced peace efforts after the fighting intensified in Yemen’s gas-rich region. The US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on Tuesday towards two Houthi military leaders. The conflict is broadly seen, in part, as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis negate being string-puppets of Tehran by saying they are fighting a corrupt system.