Daily Management Review

Houthi Rebels Attack Saudi Aramco Petroleum Storage Site


Houthi Rebels Attack Saudi Aramco Petroleum Storage Site
Yemen's Houthis said they started strikes on Saudi energy infrastructure on Friday, while the Saudi-led coalition said an attack on oil giant Aramco's petroleum products distribution station in Jeddah caused a fire in two storage tanks but no injuries.
An eyewitness reported seeing a massive plume of black smoke rising over the Red Sea city where the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is taking place this weekend.
In recent weeks, the Iran-aligned Houthis have upped attacks on the kingdom's oil facilities ahead of a short truce for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The coalition has consistently stated that it is exercising caution in the face of the attacks, but it launched a military campaign in Yemen early Saturday, claiming to be protecting global oil sources and ensuring supply lines.
The fire had been brought under control, according to a coalition statement on state media on Friday. In live footage carried by Saudi-owned Ekhbariya television channel, flames could still be seen.
The Saudi energy ministry strongly condemned the "sabotage attacks," reaffirming that the kingdom will have no responsibility for any worldwide oil supply interruptions caused by such actions, according to state news agency SPA, citing a ministry official. more info
The ministry condemned Iran for continuing to provide the Houthis with ballistic missiles and advanced drones, saying the strikes "would have an impact on the Kingdom's production capacity and ability to meet its obligations to global markets." Teheran denies supplying arms to the Houthis.
Aramco did not respond immediately.
The alliance claimed the airstrikes on Saturday targeted "sources of threat" in Houthi-controlled Sanaa and the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.
The attacks occurred during the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which was being held in Jeddah. A Reuters witness claimed the dense black smoke could be seen from the racetrack.
According to a person acquainted with the situation, Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali told drivers and team executives that the Grand Prix would go ahead as planned.
According to Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea, the group launched missiles at Aramco facilities in Jeddah on Friday, as well as drones at the Ras Tanura and Rabigh refineries, and that it had also attacked "important infrastructure" in Riyadh, the capital.
Earlier, Saudi state media said that the alliance had stopped a slew of Houthi drone and rocket attacks. Saudi air defences also shot down a ballistic missile aimed at Jizan, causing a "limited" fire at an electrical distribution plant.
The Houthi escalation comes as the UN special envoy attempts to achieve a temporary truce for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins in April, and as Riyadh prepares to meet Yemeni parties for negotiations later this month.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticised the strikes on partner Saudi Arabia, saying the US would continue to engage with Riyadh to enhance its defences while seeking a long-term solution to the Yemen war.
"At a time when the parties should be focused on de-escalation and bringing needed life-saving  relief to the Yemeni  people ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, the Houthis continue their destructive behaviour  and reckless terrorist attacks  striking  civilian infrastructure," Blinken said.