Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels have attacked a massive oil and gas field in Saudi Arabia. This is the second such attack on the Saudi energy industry in recent days and comes amid high Middle East tensions.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday carried out a drone strike on Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah oil field, which produces about a million barrels of crude oil a day. It is the second such attack on the country’s crucial energy industry in recent days.
Local media quoted Saudi officials as saying that production at the oil field was unaffected.
The state-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known widely as Saudi Aramco, issued a statement acknowledging a “limited fire” at a liquid natural gas facility at Shaybah.
The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their “biggest-ever” operation.
He threatened more attacks would be coming. “This is in response to their aggression toward us and our people in Yemen,” Sarie said.
The Houthi rebels have carried out a spate of cross-border missile and drone attacks targeting Saudi air bases and other facilities in recent months. And the latest attack on the Shaybah oil field once again shows the reach of their drone program.
The conflict in Yemen is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and its Shiite regional rival, Iran.
The Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after the Houthis ousted him from power in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.