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article imageIranian-backed Houthis strike major Saudi Arabia oil facility

By Karen Graham     Sep 14, 2019 in World
Dubai - Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and another major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires.
The drone attacks were on two major oil facilities run by state-owned Aramco, according to the BBC. Footage released by state media shows a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco's largest oil processing plant, while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield.
The Associated Press notes the blazes are at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies. It is still not known what kind of effect the assault on the Armaco facilities will have on oil production. The fires at the facilities, along with the smoke could be seen from space. No injuries have been reported.
The Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen claims responsibility for the attack, with a spokesman saying it had deployed 10 drones in the attacks. Yahya Sarea, a military spokesman, told al-Masirah TV, owned by the Houthi movement, and based in Beirut, that further attacks could be expected in the future.
The attacks by the Houthis today come after weeks of similar attacks on the Kingdom's oil infrastructure, although the earlier attacks don't appear to have caused the same amount of damage as that done today. However, Saudi Arabia is said to be shutting down around half of its oil output, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Interestingly, there is no consensus on if Iran is supporting the Houthis in their drone campaign. President Trump puts the blame squarely on Tehran, but experts vary in the extent to which they think Iran is facilitating the drone campaign. The thing is - drone technology is available to everyone - from the U.S. to China, and from the Houthis to Hezbollah.
Abqaiq is about 60km (37 miles) south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country's second-largest oilfield.
More about oil facility, Aramco facilitiers, Saudi arabia, drone strikes, Houthi rebels
 
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