Missile attack on Saudi oil region foiled – Saudi-led coalition


DUBAI, Sept. 4 (Reuters) – A ballistic missile attack targeting the oil-rich eastern region of Saudi Arabia was intercepted on Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi group in Yemen said in a statement disseminated by Saudi state media.

The missile was intercepted over the town of Dammam, according to a source familiar with the matter who declined to be named and social media reports.

Shrapnel from the missile dispersed in the suburb of Dammam, injuring two Saudi children, while 14 residential houses suffered slight damage, the official Saudi news agency SPA said, citing a ministry statement. of the defense.

The coalition blamed the attack on Houthi forces aligned with Iran. There was no immediate claim of responsibility in the Houthi-run media.

The coalition also said it had intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles heading towards Jazan and Najran, both located in the south of the country.

The coalition had also earlier reported the interception of three drones loaded with explosives heading towards the Kingdom.

Eastern Saudi Arabia is home to significant oil infrastructure that has already been targeted and affected by airstrikes. A September 2019 attack on two Aramco factories in the east temporarily canceled half of the country’s oil production.

Yemen’s Houthis, who regularly launch drones and missiles into the kingdom, have claimed responsibility for several attacks on Saudi oil facilities in the past.

A source familiar with the matter said there had been no impact at facilities owned by state-controlled oil giant Saudi Aramco and that the attack occurred outside of Aramco’s facilities.

“The Defense Ministry will take necessary and dissuasive measures to protect its lands and capabilities, and will stop these hostile and cross-border attacks to protect civilians, in accordance with international humanitarian law,” the ministry said in a statement to SPA.

The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, supporting the forces of the ousted government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who are fighting the Houthis.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Saeed Azhar; Additional reporting by Nayera Abdallah in Cairo, written by Lisa Barrington Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Alistair Bell

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