Fire in Saudi Arabia prior to F1 race.Houthi claim attack

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (AP) —Video shows that Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a series of attacks on the kingdom after a fierce fire broke out in Jeddah’s oil depot on Friday prior to Saudi Arabia’s F1 race. recognized.

Saudi Arabia and its state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco did not immediately recognize the flame, but it appeared to be concentrated in the same fuel depot that the Houthi recently attacked.

The attack occurs because Saudi Arabia is still leading a coalition to fight the Iran-backed Houthi, which occupied Yemen’s capital Sana’a in September 2014. Dozens of civilians — what the Houthis points out when launching drones, missiles, and mortars into the kingdom.

The North Jeddah Bulk Plant is located just southeast of the city’s international airport and is an important hub for Islamic pilgrims heading to Mecca. The flame video corresponded to known geographic features around the plant.

The Saudi Arabian oil company, known as Saudi Aramco, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

People on F1 trucks could see a large cloud of black smoke in the distance. The cause of the flame was not immediately known.

The second Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah will take place on Sunday, but concerns have been expressed about recent attacks targeting the Kingdom.

F1 said in a statement: “The position at this point is that we are waiting for more information from the authorities about what happened,” F1 did not elaborate.

However, the Almasila satellite news channel, run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, said details of their attacks would be announced later. The Houthi did not immediately claim that they were behind the Jeddah fire on Friday.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian state television has admitted an attack in the town of Dhahran aimed at water tanks that damaged vehicles and homes. Another attack targeted substations in the area near the Yemeni border in southwestern Saudi Arabia, according to state television.

The North Jeddah Bulk Plant stores diesel, gasoline and jet fuel for use in Jeddah, the kingdom’s second largest city. It accounts for more than a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s total supply and also supplies the fuel essential to the operation of the region’s desalination plants.

The Houthis has targeted the North Jeddah plant twice with cruise missiles. One attack occurred in November 2020..The last came as part on Sunday Wider barrage by the Houthi..

At the time of the 2020 attack, target tanks with a capacity of 500,000 barrels were holding diesel fuel, according to a recent report by the United Nations Expert Committee investigating the war in Yemen. Repairing it after the last attack cost Aramco about $ 1.5 million.

UN experts have described the facility as a “private target.” This is what the Houthi should have avoided after the 2020 attack.

“The facility also supplies petroleum products to the Saudi army, but most of them supply to private customers,” the panel said. “If the plant had not been used for a significant period of time, it would have had a major impact on the economy of the kingdom and the welfare of the inhabitants of the western region.”

Cruise missiles and drones are still difficult to defend, However, the United States recently sent a significant number of patriot missile defense interceptors to Saudi Arabia to replenish the kingdom during the Houthi attack...

In September, AP reported: The United States has removed its own Patriot and THAAD defense system from Prince Sultan Air Base on the outskirts of Riyadh...

The attacks have renewed doubts about the Kingdom’s ability to protect itself from the Houthi fire, as the long-standing war in the poorest countries of the Arab world has intensified as endless.It will come again Saudi Arabia issued an unusually severe warning We cannot guarantee that oil production will be unaffected by further attacks. This could further boost global energy prices during Russia’s Ukrainian war.


Gambrel reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.