One of the oil tank yards in Ras Tanura Port has been hit by a drone coming from the sea, while a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the state news agency SPA reported, citing the Kingdom's Energy Ministry.
A ministry spokesman said that “by the grace of God,” no casualties or major damage were registered as a result of the attack. He added that fragments of a ballistic missile were found in the residential area of Saudi Aramco in Darhan, where residents reportedly heard an explosion earlier.
Ras Tanura Port is the world's largest offshore oil shipping facility, located in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, where Saudi Aramco's major oil production and export facilities are concentrated. In Septemer 2019, a major drone attack caused massive fires at the Abqaiq oil refinery in Eastern Province, and an oil-processing facility near Khurais oil field, located about 100 miles east of Riyadh.
The Yemeni rebel Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the attacks, which prompted the Kingdom to shut down more than 50 percent of its oil output.
The attempted attack on Sunday was reported just shortly after the Saudi-led Arab coalition said it had eliminated two ballistic missiles launched by the Houthis targeting the Saudi city of Jizan. Earlier on Sunday, the Arab coalition claimed it had intercepted 10 drones launched by the Houthis targeting civilians.
#Houthis claim that 10 Samad-3 drones and one Zulfiqar rocket hit oil facilities in the port of Ras Tanura.— Islamic World Update (@islamicworldupd) March 7, 2021
4 kasef-K2 drones and 7 Badr missiles hit military targets in Jizane and Asira#SaudiArabia pic.twitter.com/JuAkaCJRMA
Reuters reported, citing Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea, that the group launched 14 drones and eight ballistic missiles in total on Sunday, in what he reportedly described as a "wide operation in the heart of Saudi Arabia". As the Houthis have recently stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, the coalition announced the launch of a military operation to carry out airstrikes against Houthi targets.
The war in Yemen has been ongoing since 2014 between the government forces and the Houthis, also known as the Ansar Allah movement. In 2015, the Saudi-led Arab coalition joined the fighting on the government's side.