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22 Dec, 2015 20:44

Yemeni rebels target Saudi oil installation with ballistic missile

Yemeni rebels target Saudi oil installation with ballistic missile

Houthi rebels have targeted a Saudi oil installation near the city of Jizan, in the southwest of the country. Houthis said that they hit the target while Saudis claimed to have intercepted the missile.

“The missile precisely hit Aramco Oil Company on Monday night,” Yemeni Army Spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman said, reported Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency citing Arabic-language media outlets.

He added that the attack came in retaliation to the “Saudi-led aggressors' violation of UN-sponsored ceasefire” but did not give any further details about damages that the plant allegedly suffered.

Saudi Arabia confirmed the attack but said the missile had been intercepted by the kingdom’s air defense systems, state media report as cited by Reuters.

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company also denied a strike on its compound in Jazan Economic City which is located 80 kilometers north of Jizan and about 150 kilometers from the border with Yemen. All the facilities in the area managing “safe and normal operations”, the company said.

This is not the first time that the Houthis have used ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia and its allies. On Friday the rebels launched two missiles: One of them was intercepted by the Saudi air defense while another one landed in a deserted area.

In early September the Houthi rebels attacked an ammunition depot, allegedly with a missile, in the oil-producing Marib area of central Yemen killing at least 45 Saudi-led coalition troops.

The instability in Yemen started in 2011 when president Saleh was toppled during protests which were part of the Arab Spring. In 2014 Houthi Shia rebels supported by pro-Saleh forces rose in rebellion and seized big territories including the capital Sanaa.

In March, 2015, the Saudi-led coalition launched an airstrike campaign against the rebels. Last week the UN initiated a seven-day ceasefire in Yemen which seems to have been violated by all parties to the conflict.

The conflict has already claimed about 6,000 lives and forced 2.5 million out of their homes.