Houthis Claim Credit for Drone Attacks on Saudi Oil Refineries

On Friday, Yemen’s Houthis claimed responsibility for launching nine drones targeting Saudi Arabia’s energy infrastructure Thursday morning.

Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Sare’e, said in a video statement the group had launched a “large-scale operation” against Saudi Arabia called “First Siege Breaking Operation.”

“In retaliation to the escalate [sic] of the aggression through the unjust siege on our people and to prevent the entry of oil derivatives, our armed forces carried out a large-scale military operation ‘First Siege Breaking Operation’ with nine drones,” Sare’e stated.

Sare’e noted that three drones attacked the Aramco oil refinery in Riyadh and six drones targeted “Aramco facilities in the regions of Jizan and Abha and other sensitive sites…”

Saudi Arabia’s official press agency published a statement Friday confirming the assaults, adding that it caused a fire and that air defenses were able to intercept one of the drones targeting Jizan.

“The attack, thankfully, did not result in injuries or deaths, and neither the refinery’s operations nor the supplies of petroleum and its derivatives were affected,” the statement said.

Thursday’s strikes come several weeks after a “bomb-laden” drone launched by the Houthis targeted King Abdullah Airport in Jizan leaving sixteen injured, according to an ABC News article citing Saudi media.

It’s noteworthy to mention the name “First Siege Breaking Operation” suggests the Houthis may launch another offensive against Saudi Arabia in the coming days or weeks as it did with operations “First Yemen Cyclone” and “Second Yemen Cyclone” in the last months. [See FDD’s Long War Journal Houthis launch aerial attack against UAE capital Abu Dhabi and Houthis Renew Attack on Abu Dhabi With Ballistic Missiles.]

Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE have issued statements condemning the Houthi’s attack against Saudi Arabia.

Joe Truzman is a research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah.

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