Yemen's Houthi rebels claim missile hits Saudi oil facility
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they attacked a Saudi oil facility in the port city of Jiddah on Thursday, the latest in a series of cross-border missile and drone strikes the group has claimed against the kingdom amid the grinding war in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned media did not immediately acknowledge any incident in Jiddah.
Brig. Gen. Yehia Sarie, a Houthi military spokesman, tweeted that the rebels fired a new Quds-2 cruise missile at the facility. He posted a satellite image online that matched Aramco’s North Jiddah Bulk Plant, where oil products are stored in tanks. The Iran-allied rebels claimed they hit the same facility last November, an attack the Saudi-led coalition later acknowledged had ignited a fire at the plant.
The plant, which serves as a temporary storage facility for gasoline, diesel and other petrochemicals before distribution, sits just southeast of Jiddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, a major airfield that handles Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca.
Flights coming into the airport diverted or otherwise flew in circles early Thursday morning without explanation, according to tracking data from website FlightRadar24.com.
An Associated Press journalist at the scene did not see any smoke immediately rising from the installation Thursday morning.
The U.S. Consulate in Jiddah issued a warning to Americans citing the attack on the Aramco facility, among other reported drone strikes on the kingdom's south. It said it wasn't aware of any casualties and urged Americans to “review immediate precautions to take in the event of an attack."
Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s oil giant that now has a sliver of its worth traded publicly on the stock market, did not respond to a request for comment. Its stock...