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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 August 2018

Yemen’s Houthis claim drone attack on Aramco refinery in Riyadh

Aramco announced that its fire control teams and the Saudi civil defences had contained a minor fire

A Saudi Aramco facility near Riyadh. Ali Jarekji/Reuters
A Saudi Aramco facility near Riyadh. Ali Jarekji/Reuters

The Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen said it had attacked a Saudi Aramco refinery in Riyadh on Wednesday using a drone, but the oil company said a limited fire at the plant was due to “an operational incident”.

“Our drone air forces have targeted the refinery of ARAMCO company in Riyadh,” read a tweet on the account of the Houthi-run television channel al-Masirah.

“The operation by the drone air force is a strong start in a new stage of deterring the aggression,” it quoted a Houthi military spokesman as saying in a tweet.

They also claimed to have targeted the convoy of the Yemeni vice-president, brigadier Ali Mohsen Al Ahmer, with a mortar shell in Marib province on Wednesday. His daughter’s husband, major general Mohamed Al-Ahmer, was killed in the operation claimed by Houthis.

A Yemeni army source told The National that Mr Al Ahmer was killed by a mine explosion in a military base in Marib ,where he was carrying out training sessions.

Saudi officials were not immediately available for comment.

Just before al-Masirah’s tweet, Aramco announced that its fire control teams and the Saudi civil defences had contained a minor fire that erupted in the early evening in storage containers at its refinery in Riyadh.

It tweeted that the fire had not affected the activities of the refinery and there were no casualties.

It later added on its official Twitter account that the fire was due to “an operational incident”.

The Houthis, who control Yemen’s capital Sanaa, have fired dozens of missiles into Saudi Arabia in recent months, part of a three-year-old conflict widely seen as a proxy battle between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Most of the missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi military.

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