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Yemen's Houthis say they attacked Saudi cities, Aramco facilities

Saudi-led coalition says it hit 13 targets during a military operation against Houthi-held Sanaa
A pro-government fighter in Yemen during fighting with Houthis south of Marib on 10 November 2021 (AFP)

Yemen's Houthi movement said on Saturday it had fired 14 drone attacks at several Saudi cities, including at Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah.

The Saudi-led coalition battling the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen on Friday said it destroyed three drones launched towards southern Saudi Arabia and a fourth over Yemen. It said the group "failed to launch two ballistic missiles" and they fell inside Yemen.

The Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a televised press conference that the group had attacked Aramco facilities in Jeddah as well as military targets in Riyadh, Jeddah, Abha, Jizan and Najran.

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Sarea's statement contained inaccuracies. It mentioned the wrong name for the international airport in Jeddah and the wrong location for King Khalid base, saying it was in Riyadh when it is actually in the south of the kingdom.

Aramco's refinery in Jeddah was decommissioned in 2017, but it has a petroleum products distribution plant there that the Houthis targeted in March.

The coalition said later Saturday it has attacked 13 targets during an operation against the Houthi movement in Yemen, it said in a statement, according to the Saudi state news agency.

The operation hit weapons depots, air defence systems and drone communication systems in Sanaa, Saada, and Marib provinces, the coalition said.

The Houthis have repeatedly launched cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia using drones and missiles since the coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the movement removed the Saudi-backed government from the capital, Sanaa.

Efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to engineer a ceasefire in Yemen have stalled.

The Houthis are pressing an offensive in Marib, the government's last northern stronghold, as well as in other areas in Yemen, including the Red Sea port of Hodeidah

The loss of Marib would be a major blow for the government and would strengthen the rebels' position in future peace negotiations, according to experts.

Since 11 October, the coalition has reported almost daily strikes around Marib and said in a statement on Thursday that it had killed 27,000 Houthis fighters since last year.

In a rare admission, sources close to the Houthis said Thursday that nearly 14,700 of their fighters have been killed since mid-June in air strikes and battles near Marib.