Houthis Target Saudi Oil Facility in Retaliatory Attack

UN confirms civilian deaths in Saudi airstrike that took place over the weekend

Yemen’s Houthis said they hit targets inside Saudi Arabia in an operation that was retaliation for the Saudis’ bombing in Yemen’s northwest province of Hajjah, where civilians were killed.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said the group launched missiles and drones at Saudi military targets in Southern Saudi Arabia, as well as “the giant oil facility in the Jizan industrial zone.” Sarea said the strike against the oil facility was “accurate.” Sarea also said the Houthis targeted a military camp in Saudi Arabia which left dozens of Saudi military officers dead or injured.

The Saudis released a statement on Monday that said they intercepted and destroyed drones and missiles, but they did not say if any targets were hit or if any damage was done to the oil facility. The Houthis have launched successful drone and missile strikes deep inside the kingdom over the past year, which has embarrassed the Saudi coalition who usually try to downplay the attacks.

In separate comments, the Houthis intelligence chief said on Sunday that the group has a bank of vital targets inside Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel, a warning that should be taken seriously since the Houthis have demonstrated their ability to strike long-range targets.

The Houthi offensive comes after a weekend of brutal Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. Over the weekend, the Houthis reported an airstrike hit a house in the northern Hajjah province, killing 10 civilians, mostly women and children. The UN confirmed this on Monday that said their initial investigation found at least seven children and two women were killed in the strike.

The Saudis regularly bomb civilian targets in Yemen, which is why human rights advocates were outraged last month when the UN removed the coalition from a list of parties that harm children in conflicts. The same day the UN removed the Saudis from the “blacklist,” a Saudi airstrike killed a group of civilians traveling in a car in north Yemen, a group that included children.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.