An Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s drone attacks on the Saudi oil facilities owned by Aramco, which recently entered into a joint venture with Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance industries.
The Yemeni outfit said that it had deployed 10 drones in the attacks that caused huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco’s largest oil processing plant and the Khurais oilfield. The state-owned Saudi media said that the fires had been brought under control now.
According to the BBC, Yahya Sarea, a spokesperson for the Houthi group, told al-Masirah TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement and is based in Beirut, that further attacks could be expected in the future. He threatened further attacks on the kingdom unless Saudi Arabia ends the war in Yemen.
Saudi officials have not yet commented on who they think is behind the attacks. The official Saudi Press Agency said, “At 04:00 (01:00 GMT), the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones.”
The Saudi government has not given any details on the damage caused by the drone attacks, but news agency AFP quoted interior ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki as saying that there were no casualties.
BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus said, “The Saudi Air Force has been pummelling targets in Yemen for years. Now the Houthis have a capable, if much more limited, ability to strike back. It shows that the era of armed drone operations being restricted to a handful of major nations is now over.”
Mukesh Ambani had recently told at the Reliance AGM that Aramco, which ranks as the world’s largest oil business, will ‘invest in Reliance for a 20% stake in oil-to-chemicals division at an enterprise value of $75 billion for the O2C division, which will be demerged into a separate subsidiary in the next five years.’