‘Stop the threat’: Saudi Arabia blames Houthis for Aramco missile attack in letter to UN Security Council
Saudi Arabia has told the United Nations Security Council that Yemen’s Houthi militia is behind the missile attack at a petroleum facility in Jeddah owned by its Aramco oil company on Monday, in a formal letter seen by reporters.
A letter penned by Saudi UN ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi called on the 15-member body to “stop the threat” that the Iran-backed Houthi rebels pose to energy security, Yemeni politics, and regional stability, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
“It has been identified that the Houthis militia backed by Iran is responsible for the terrorist attack,” Al-Mouallimi said in the letter, reportedly adding that Riyadh would “spare no efforts” in defending itself.
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An Aramco official confirmed on Tuesday that the missile blast occurred at around 3:50am Saudi time on Monday at its distribution plant. The site oversees the transportation of more than 120,000 barrels of petroleum products a day to the western Saudi cities of Jeddah and Mecca, as well as to the nearby Al Baha province.
Abdullah al-Ghamdi, manager of the North Jeddah Bulk Plant, said “major damage” had been inflicted, including a two-square-meter hole in the roof of a storage tank. He added that there were no casualties in the attack and that a fire caused by the blast had been extinguished in around 40 minutes, but one of the site’s 13 tanks was now incapacitated.
This latest incident comes after an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure a little over a year ago, in which the rebel Houthi group claimed to have hit two Saudi facilities with 10 armed drones, sparking huge fires.
The strikes on Saudi Arabia’s oil capabilities are part of an ongoing conflict with the Houthi rebels after a Saudi-led coalition, which includes France, the UK and the US, intervened in the Yemeni Civil War in 2015.
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On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb condemned the Houthi attack on “civilian infrastructure,” which, he claimed, contradicted the group’s claims to want to end the conflict.
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