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

The missile was intercepted over the city of Dammam

  
Saudi-led coalition spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Malki, displays the debris of a ballistic missile which he says was launched by Yemen's Houthi group towards the capital Riyadh, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 29, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Saudi-led coalition spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Malki, displays the debris of a ballistic missile which he says was launched by Yemen's Houthi group towards the capital Riyadh, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 29, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

DUBAI: A ballistic missile attack aimed at Saudi Arabia's oil-rich eastern region was intercepted on Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen said in a statement carried by Saudi state media.

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

The shrapnel of the missile scattered over the Dammam Suburb neigbourhood, injuring two Saudi children, while 14 residential houses suffered light damages, Saudi state news agency SPA said, citing a statement by the defence ministry.

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

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

The coalition earlier also reported the interception of three explosive-laden drones headed towards the Kingdom.

Eastern Saudi is home to significant oil infrastructure which has previously been targeted and hit by aerial attacks. An attack in September 2019 on two Aramco plants in the east temporarily knocked out half 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 installations in the past.

A source familiar with the matter said there was no impact on facilities belonging to state-controlled oil giant Saudi Aramco and that the attack happened outside of Aramco facilities.

"The Ministry of Defense will take the necessary and deterrent measures to protect its lands and capabilities, and stop such hostile and cross-border attacks to protect civilians, in accordance with international humanitarian law," the ministry said in a statement according to SPA.

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

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Saeed Azhar; Additional reporting by Nayera Abdallah in Cairo, Writing by Lisa Barrington Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Alistair Bell) ((maher.chmaytelli@thomsonreuters.com;))


More From GCC