The Houthi armed group launched a strike on Saudi Arabia’s primary economy maker, Saudi Aramco today, Al-Masirah TV reported.
“The air force announced the execution of air strikes with the Qasef-1 aircraft on Aramco in Jizan [province],” the channel said on its Twitter account, referring to a drone the Houthis unveiled last year. But Saudi Aramco claimed that its facility based in Jizan was operating “normally and safely”.
The Houthis further claimed on open source networks that they carried out a strike on Saudi’s Abha International Airport in Asir province. Claims were made by the Houthi military wing that it had disrupted flights coming in to the airport.
“The Yemeni people will neutralise the largest economic project in Saudi Arabia which is Aramco, and it will affect the Neom project,” Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi, head of the Houthis’ supreme revolutionary committee, said early this month. “We are following a long-term policy, and we are working on draining the enemy,” he continued.
Al-Houthi continued to claim that the group is developing missiles of Russian and Korean origin, in addition to manufacturing some internally.
In early April, the group attacked a Saudi oil tanker just off the west coast of Yemen near Hudaydah. A Saudi-led coalition vessel intervened and escorted the injured ship back to northern Saudi territorial waters. The Saudi-led coalition described the incident as a “terrorist attack”.
To mark the anniversary of the third year of the Yemen conflict, the Houthis executed seven ballistic missiles towards Saudi Arabia on 25 March, killing an Egyptian expat worker and injuring two others. Three missiles were aimed at the capital Riyadh, while the others were intended for the southern cities including Najran, Jizan and Khamis Mushait.
The Houthi strategy to target Saudi Arabia’s commercial assets comes with the aim of deterring Saudi Arabia from its disproportional air strikes. Human Rights Watch condemned both parties this month, saying “just as unlawful coalition air strikes don’t justify the Houthi’s indiscriminate attacks, the Saudis can’t use Houthi rockets to justify impeding life-saving goods for Yemen’s civilian population.”
Three years on, Yemen has witnessed 10,000 deaths according to the United Nations and civilians remain trapped in the middle of cross fire, with dwindling supplies of basic amenities, and lack of access to sufficient water, sanitation and food.