Saudi Arabia intercepts missile after strike on Saudi oil terminal

No casualties reported in strike at Jazan

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 8, 2020, file photo, the sun sets behind an idle pump jack near Karnes City, USA. Oil prices pressed higher Monday, March 8, 2021,  after strikes on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, shook energy markets. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
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Saudi Arabia's air defences intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern province of Najran on Thursday – a day after a fire broke out at an oil terminal in southern Saudi Arabia after it was hit by a projectile.

There were no injuries reported in the attack on the petroleum products distribution station in Jazan, a ministry source said.

"A projectile attack on a petroleum products distribution terminal in Jazan resulted in a fire in one of the terminal's tanks," the ministry told the official Saudi Press Agency. A further two missiles landed in uninhabited border areas, authorities said.

Arab Coalition spokesman Brig Gen Turki Al Malki said Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels were responsible for the "cowardly sabotage attack" that not only targeted the kingdom but also the "nerve centre of the global economy".

He said the missile launches were a signal that the group rejected "all political efforts to end the Yemeni crisis, especially after the announcement of the kingdom’s initiative to end the crisis and reach a comprehensive political solution" this week.

Gen Al Malki emphasised that the kingdom would take any measures necessary to ensure the stability and security of global oil shipments as well as domestic infrastructure and safety.

Yemen's Houthi rebels increasingly launch attacks on the kingdom's energy installations. On Friday  the Houthi group said it had attacked several Saudi Aramco facilities and military sites in the kingdom.

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said the attacks were a grave escalation of tensions.

"The security of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is indivisible, and any threat facing the kingdom is considered a threat to the UAE's security and stability."

The Ministry urged the international community to take an immediate and decisive stance to stop the attacks, which target critical infrastructure and threaten the security and stability of the kingdom, as well as global energy supplies. Bahrain and Kuwait joined the UAE in condemning the attacks for breaking international law, praising coalition forces for being vigilant in intercepting the Houthi attacks.

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On Monday, the kingdom proposed a nationwide ceasefire in Yemen, the reopening of Sanaa airport to selected destinations, a resumption of talks between Yemen’s warring sides, allowing additional fuel and supplies to enter Hodeidah port, and supporting efforts to rebuild and provide aid in the country.

The proposal was welcomed by the international community, which urged all sides to work towards ending the six-year conflict.

But the Houthis seemed to reject the proposal almost immediately, saying they would not back talks until Saudi Arabia brought its military campaign to a complete halt.

Riyadh intervened after a request from the Yemeni government after it was driven from the capital Sanaa by the rebels in 2015.

Peace talks are based on UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls for the Houthis to withdraw from areas they have seized and hand heavy weapons back to the government.