Yemen’s Houthi rebels Saturday took responsibility for the multiple drone attacks on two major Saudi Aramco oil factories in Abqaiq and Khurais provinces on Saturday, reported Reuters. The attacks sparked fires, which were brought under control by the oil company, the Saudi interior ministry spokesperson said.
The targets and the extent of damage are unclear. Aramco did not respond to a request for comment. It wasn’t clear if there were any injuries in the attacks in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, nor what effect it would have on oil production in the kingdom. But Saudi Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq as “the largest crude oil stabilization plant in the world.”
Abqaiq, which lies 60 km southwest of Saudi Arabia’ Eastern Province Dhahran, contains the world’s largest oil processing plant. Khurais lies 190 km further southwest and contains the country’s second-largest oilfield.
Some videos apparently shot in Buqyaq included the sound of gunfire in the background. Smoke rose over the skyline and glowing flames could be seen a distance away at the Abqaiq oil processing facility, reported AP.
Tensions have escalated after attacks on oil tankers in June and July in Gulf waters which were blamed on Iran by Riyadh and Washington. Tehran has, however, denied the accusations.
Houthis in Yemen have also launched attacks on the border, targeting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. In 2006, security forces foiled an Al Qaeda attack on Abqaiq.