Houthis Strike Oil Field Deep Inside Saudi Arabia

The Attack Reveals Houthis New Drone Capabilities

The Houthi regime of Yemen launched a successful drone attack on an oil field deep inside of Saudi Arabia on Saturday. The attack caused a “limited fire” and had no impact on production according to Saudi state-run oil company Saudi Aramco.

The Shaybah oil field is close to the border of the United Arab Emirates and is some 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) from Houthi controlled territory in Yemen. The attack demonstrates the Houthis new drone capabilities. UN investigators say the Houthi’s new UAV-X drone likely has a range of up to 930 miles (1,500 kilometers).

Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis said the attack was the “biggest ever” in the Kingdom. “This is in response to their aggression toward us and our people in Yemen,” Sarie said.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said, “This act of terrorism and sabotage is only an extension of those acts that have recently targeted the global oil supply chains, including oil pipelines in the kingdom, and oil tankers.”

Al-Falih referenced a Houthi drone strike on the kingdom’s East-West Pipeline back in May. He also referred to the attacks on oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, which the US and its allies tried to blame on Iran with no evidence.

Tehran denied any involvement in the attacks on the oil tankers and the Houthis have not claimed responsibility. If the Houthis were in anyway responsible they would have no reason not to claim responsibility since they are already under siege.

Somehow, al-Falih paints the kingdom as the innocent victim of “terrorism.” But the Houthi’s attacks are clearly blowback from the brutal Saudi air campaign. Since March 2015, with backing from the US, the Saudi’s have been indiscriminately bombing Yemen killing scores of civilians.

The goal of the Saudi’s involvement in Yemen has been to reinstate ousted President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. This effort has proven to be an exercise in futility. The Saudi’s are not only facing the Houthis in battle but now a large separatist movement in South Yemen. The southern separatists now control the Yemen capital city of Aden and have vowed to “liberate” all southern territory under control of the Saudi-backed government.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.