July 18, 2018 / 3:53 PM / a month ago

Yemen's Houthis say they attacked Aramco refinery in Riyadh with drone

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen said it had attacked a Saudi Aramco [IPO-ARAM.SE] refinery in Riyadh on Wednesday using a drone, but the oil company said a limited fire at the plant was due to “an operational incident”.

“Our drone air forces have targeted the refinery of ARAMCO company in Riyadh,” read a tweet on the account of the Houthi-run television channel al-Masirah.

“The operation by the drone air force is a strong start in a new stage of deterring the aggression,” it quoted a Houthi military spokesman as saying in a tweet.

Saudi officials were not immediately available for comment.

Just before al-Masirah’s tweet, Aramco announced that its fire control teams and the Saudi civil defenses had contained a minor fire that erupted in the early evening in a storage containers at its refinery in Riyadh.

It tweeted that the fire had not affected the activities of the refinery and there were no casualties.

It later added on its official twitter account that the fire was due to “an operational incident”.

The Houthis, who control Yemen’s capital Sanaa, have fired dozens of missiles into Saudi Arabia in recent months, part of a three-year-old conflict widely seen as a proxy battle between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Most of the missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi military.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen’s war in 2015 to try to unseat the Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government-in-exile.

Reporting by Dahlia Nehme, Rania el Gamal; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Robin Pomeroy

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