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Aramco On Lockdown After Houthi Missile Attack

Aramco On Lockdown After Houthi Missile Attack

Saudi Arabia had intercepted a ballistic missile attack on facilities owned by state oil major Aramco in the Eastern Region, Reuters has reported, citing the Saudi defense ministry.

Earlier reports said Aramco facilities in Dharan had gone on lockdown because of a suspected attack.

The Iran-affiliated Yemeni Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks on Sunday, saying it had used ballistic missiles and drones.

Ras Tanura, which is home to extensive oil infrastructure, was not the only target of the attack: the Houthis also targeted Aramco property in the southern Saudi provinces of Jizan and Najran, according to the rebel group’s spokesman who claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Aramco oil facilities are understandably a preferred target for the Houthis, which Saudi Arabia is trying to oust from Yemen after they removed the Saudi-affiliated government of the country in 2014 and has since then assumed power in most of Yemen. The Yemeni war, which has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in modern times, is widely seen as a proxy war between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Saudis most often intercept the Houthi attacks but not always. The most notable attack that the Yemeni rebel group claimed responsibility for was the September 2019 attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities, including an oil field and a processing plant

That attack cut off 5 percent of the daily global supply for weeks, sending oil prices soaring. But Saudi Arabia and the United States said at the time that it was Iran—and not the Houthis—that was responsible for the attack, even though the Yemeni group again claimed responsibility for the strikes.

Since the start of the Yemen war, several attempts have been made at reaching a ceasefire agreement, but so far, all have failed, locking the Saudis and the Houthis in a stalemate.

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