Saudi Arabia: Houthi drones targets civilians, economic facilities

Video clips and images show damage on a building and cars at a facility in Khamis Mushait

Riyadh: The Arab coalition in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia, announced that in the early hours of Sunday morning the Iran-backed Houthi militia launched four attacks on the kingdom using drones that damaged civilian cars and homes, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Thankfully, human lives were not lost in the militia’s attack.

A hostile attack targeted a water desalination plant in Al-Shaqeeq, an Aramco facility in Jizan in the south of the country, a gas station in Khamis Mushait, and a power station in Dhahran al Janub.

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The coalition added that the militia used Iranian cruise missiles to target an Aramco distribution station in Jizan, as well as to target a water desalination plant in Al-Shaqiq. He also confirmed that the Air Defense Forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile that was launched to target Jazan.

For its part, the SPA, published photos and a video clip showing fires burning in buildings while the firefighting forces were trying to put them out. 

SPA also published pictures and video clips of destroyed cars and a crater in the ground as a result of the attack on the gas station.

The coalition had indicated that the Houthi militia’s escalation of hostile attacks targeting economic facilities and civilian objects is a rejection of peace efforts and initiatives, and a response to the Gulf call.

On Tuesday, March 15, it was announced Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering inviting the Iranian-backed Ansar Allah armed group (Houthis) and other Yemeni parties for consultation in Riyadh this month as part of an initiative aimed at supporting peace efforts led by the United Nations (UN).

On Wednesday, March 16, Houthis said they would welcome talks with the Saudi-led coalition but that the venue should be a neutral country, including Gulf states, and that the priority was to lift restrictions on Yemeni ports and Sanaa airport.

The latest attack comes days after an oil refinery in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was attacked on March 10 by a drone, which was claimed by the Houthis.

Since March 2015, the Arab coalition has been carrying out military operations in support of government forces in Yemen, to confront the Iranian-backed Houthis, who control several governorates, including the capital, Sanaa.

Houthi rebels often target airports and oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, against the backdrop of the kingdom’s leadership of the military coalition against them.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched in February 2021, a major offensive toward Marib in an attempt to seize control of the province, the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

Currently, as many as 3 million people live in the city of Marib, including about a million who fled the Houthi advance in other areas of Yemen.

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