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Wed 29 Jan 2020 07:33 PM

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Yemen rebels claim attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Huthi forces says they have attacked Aramco facilities in Jizan, Abha and Jizan airports, Khamis Mushait base and other targets

Yemen rebels claim attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Attacks on Aramco oil facilities last September caused massive damage, halving the kingdom's crude output temporarily and creating havoc on global oil markets.

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels said Wednesday they had launched missile and drone attacks on Saudi targets, including oil facilities belonging to the energy giant Aramco.

Huthi forces attacked "Aramco (facilities) in Jizan, Abha and Jizan airports, Khamis Mushait base and vital targets deep inside Saudi Arabia with a large number of missiles and drones," spokesman Yahya al-Saree told a press conference in the capital Sanaa.

Saree did not specify when the strikes were carried out and neither Aramco nor the Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government immediately responded to requests for confirmation.

Saree said the attacks were "in retaliation for the escalation of air strikes by the enemy" during the recent fierce fighting between government and rebel troops to the north and east of Sanaa.

Attacks on Aramco oil facilities last September caused massive damage, halving the kingdom's crude output temporarily and creating havoc on global oil markets.

The Huthis claimed responsibility for those strikes, but the United States said the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to "an act of war". Iran denied any involvement.

Saree also said the rebels had made major advances in fighting against the government forces in the capital and other provinces, seizing the entire Nihm district in Sanaa province and making gains in the Jawf and Marib provinces during operations that are ongoing.

"An area totalling 2,500 square kilometres (960 square miles) has been liberated," he said, adding that government forces had "collapsed and that Huthi fighters reached the vicinity of Marib city", the capital of the province.

Pro-government sources admitted on Monday that the rebels had captured the route that connects Sanaa to the provinces of Marib to the east and Jawf to the north.

They said then that dozens had been killed or wounded in the fighting around Sanaa in the previous two days, but were not able to give precise figures.

Saree said that thousands of government troops had been killed, wounded or captured during the fighting.

The United Nations Security Council convened Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Yemen, amid growing concern over the deteriorating situation and calls for the parties to re-engage in the political process, diplomats said.

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