'Hostile Operation' Targeted Jiddah Oil Depot in Saudi Arabia - State Media

© Photo : Twitter / Aurora IntelFootage of large plume of smoke rising above Jiddah bulk fuel storage site. 25 March, 2022.
Footage of large plume of smoke rising above Jiddah bulk fuel storage site. 25 March, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
Earlier, a spokesman for Yemen's Houthi militia announced that a wide operation "deep" inside Saudi Arabia had been carried out, and that details about it would soon be revealed.
Saudi state television confirmed on Friday that a "hostile operation" had targeted the Jiddah oil depot after journalists covering preparations for a nearby Formula One race reported that the facility was on fire. The report did not elaborate on the scale of the incident or who is believed to be responsible.
Saudi television also said that an attack on water tanks in the town of Dhahran had damaged local vehicles and homes, and that an electrical substation near the border with Yemen was targeted.
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen announced on Friday that 10 drones which "deliberately targeted civilian properties and energy sources" had been destroyed.
Riyadh's Bahraini allies condemned what Manama dubbed as a "cowardly terrorist act" of targeting areas in southern, central and eastern regions of Saudi Arabia using drones.
Media covering trials for the F1 event being held nearby reported smoke rising over the city at around 17.40 local time. Local officials had earlier boasted about the Jiddah racetrack being the "holiest" track in F1 history, given the mosques situated nearby. Race practice got underway later than planned after being temporarily postponed.
The Jiddah oil depot, formally known as the North Jiddah Bulk Plant, is located about 11km from the racetrack, south-east of the city's international airport.
Saudi Aramco did not immediately comment on the incident.
Houthi spokesman Yahya Sare'e announced earlier on Friday that the militia mounted an operation "deep" inside the Kingdom using "large numbers of ballistic missiles and drones, in response to the continuation of US-Saudi aggression and the unjust siege on our people".
The Houthis said their strikes targeted the Ras Tanura and Rabigh refinery and Saudi Aramco facilities in Jizan and Najran with drones, and struck targets in Jizan, Dhahran al-Janoub, Abha and Khamis Mushait with "large numbers" of ballistic missiles. The militia warned that "more" strikes would take place until the "siege" of the country was lifted.
The Yemeni militia group targeted Jiddah's oil depot on Sunday, and struck it in November 2020, causing $1.5 million in damage. The facility is known to hold diesel fuel used by the Saudi military, but also commercial fuel supplies.
Riyadh's US allies have sought to secure Saudi Arabia against Houthi attacks, sending Patriot and THAAD missile defence systems to the country after a devastating 2019 attack on a pair of oil production facilities which temporarily deprived the Kingdom of up to half of its crude export capabilities.
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that a "significant" amount of Patriot interceptors had been transferred to the Kingdom in recent weeks amid an escalation of fighting with the Houthis.
Army Spc. Timothy Jones operates a Patriot missile battery in Southwest Asia, Feb. 8, 2010. The Defense Department announced Oct. 11, 2019, that it will deploy two Patriot missile batteries to Saudi Arabia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2022
Biden Admin. Sends Patriot Missiles to Saudis Per Urgent Request Despite Apparent Tensions - Report
Yemen's Houthis have been at war with Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Arab Gulf State nations for more than seven years. Riyadh and its allies began an intervention in the country in March 2015 in a bid to reinstate the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who fled Yemen after the Houthis swept through the country in late 2014 and early 2015 in the wake of a popular uprising. Up to a quarter of a million people are feared to have perished in the conflict, both in fighting and as a result of a humanitarian crisis. Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world.
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