The Houthis in Yemen stated they attacked Saudi energy infrastructure on Friday, and the Saudi-led coalition reported the strike targeted oil giant Aramco's petroleum products distribution station in Jeddah, triggering a fire in two storage tanks but no injuries.
According to one eyewitness, a big plume of black smoke could be seen rising above the Red Sea city where the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is being held this weekend.
In recent weeks, the Iran-aligned Houthis have increased their attacks against the kingdom's oil infrastructure, just before a short cease-fire for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Despite the coalition's repeated claims that it is showing restraint in the face of the assaults, it started a military action in Yemen early on Saturday, claiming it was necessary to secure global oil supplies and supply routes.
The fire has been brought under control, according to a coalition statement broadcast on state television on Friday. In a live video broadcast by the Saudi-owned Ekhbariya television channel, flames could still be seen.
According to state news agency SPA, citing a Saudi energy ministry official, the kingdom strongly denounced the "sabotage attacks," reaffirming that it would not bear responsibility for any global oil supply interruptions caused by such assaults.
The ministry criticized Iran for continuing to provide the Houthis with ballistic missiles and sophisticated drones, warning that the strikes would " would lead to impacting the Kingdom's production capacity and its ability to fulfill its obligations to global markets." Teheran maintains that the Houthis are not armed.
Aramco did not respond to a request for comment right away.
The alliance claimed the attacks on Saturday were aimed at "threat sources" in Houthi-controlled Sanaa and the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.
The assaults occurred during the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which was being held in Jeddah. According to a Reuters witness, the dense black smoke could be seen from the racetrack.
According to a person acquainted with the situation, Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali informed drivers and team executives that the Grand Prix would go ahead as scheduled.
Source: The Reuters