Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they fired drones and ballistic missiles at oil facilities and military sites in Saudi Arabia.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired 14 drones and eight ballistic missiles at facilities of oil firm Saudi Aramco in Ras Tanura and at military targets in the Saudi cities of Dammam, Asir and Jazan, the Houthi military spokesman has said.
There was no immediate confirmation of the attacks from Saudi Aramco or from Saudi authorities. Ras Tanura is the site of an oil refinery and the world’s biggest offshore oil loading facility.
Two residents in the kingdom’s eastern city of Dhahran told the Reuters news agency that they heard a blast. The cause was not immediately clear.
The United States mission in Saudi Arabia advised US citizens to take precautions after reports of possible attacks and explosion in the area of Dhahran, Dammam and Khobar.
The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen said earlier on Sunday it intercepted 12 drones launched by the Houthis, including five that were fired towards the kingdom, and two ballistic missiles fired towards Jazan.
The kingdom’s Eastern Province is home to most of Saudi Aramco’s oil production and export facilities.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said the group fired 14 drones and eight ballistic missiles across the border with the kingdom in a “wide operation in the heart of Saudi Arabia”.
Earlier, the Saudi-led coalition said it conducted air strikes on Houthi military targets in Sanaa and other regions and warned that “civilians and civilian objects in the Kingdom are a red line”.
The Houthi-run Al Masirah TV said coalition warplanes launched “a series of air raids” on the al-Nahda and Attan districts in the capital, Sanaa.
The Houthis, who have been battling the coalition since it intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, recently stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.
The escalation comes as the United States and the United Nations increase diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire to pave the way for a resumption of UN-sponsored political talks to end the conflict, which is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.