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Houthis Attack Aramco Facility in Saudi Arabia, Coalition Says


FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2016, photo, Saudi and Foreign investors stand in front of the logo of Saudi state oil giant Aramco during the 10th Global Competitiveness Forum in the capital, Riyadh.

Houthi rebels attacked a facility run by oil company Aramco in Jizan, southern Saudi Arabia, the Saudi-led military coalition fighting the rebels in Yemen said in a statement Saturday.

The rebels also hit a desalination plant in Al-Shaqeeq, said the coalition statement, quoted by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The coalition said four drones launched into the southern region had been intercepted and destroyed near Yemen. That region is regularly targeted by Houthi drone and missile attacks.

It later announced that the Dhahran Al-Janoub power station, near Jizan, had also been attacked. The SPA posted photos and a video clip showing firefighters tackling a blaze at the site.

The latest announcement comes after an oil refinery in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was attacked on March 10 by a drone, an operation claimed by the Houthis.

Earlier this week, the Houthis rejected an invitation from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to attend talks on the Yemen conflict, to be held in Riyadh from March 29.

Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition in Yemen in support of the internationally recognized government, which has been engaged in a bloody conflict against the Houthis since mid-2014.

The war has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, directly or indirectly, and displaced millions, in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

On Wednesday, the U.N. voiced disappointment after a donors' conference raised $1.3 billion, far short of the $4.27 billion target.

Houthi rebels often target airports and oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest oil exporters, against the backdrop of the kingdom's leadership of the military coalition against them.

This latest attack comes as Aramco prepares to announce its 2021 results on Sunday.

Global oil markets are in a state of confusion over the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and effect it will have on energy supplies.

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