RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi – led coalition said early on Sunday that Yemen’s Iran – aligned Houthi group launched missile and drone strikes on energy and water desalination facilities in the kingdom that caused some material damage but no deaths.
It said the attacks were at a water desalination plant in Al – Shaqeeq, an Aramco distribution station in Jizan, a power station in Shahran Al Janub, a gas facility in Khamis Mushair and an Aramco liquefied natural gas plant in Yanbu.
These hostile attacks and debris resulting from interception caused some material damage at the facilities and civilian cars and houses. There was no loss of life as of now’, said the statement carried on state media.
It did not specify which facilities incurred damage. State media posted images and videos of what appeared to be debris from the projectiles, damaged cars and structures and firefighters dousing flames.
Initial investigations showed the group fired Iranian – made cruise missiles at the desalination plant and state oil firm Aramco’s Jizan distribution centre, the coalition said.
It said Saudi air defences intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missiles and nine drones.
The Houthi military spokesman said the group would within hours announce a wide military operation on Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh leads a coalition that has been battling the Houthis fro seven years in a conflict widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
‘These barbaric attacks are a dangerous escalation’, coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki – al – Malki said, adding this constituted a Houthi rejection of planned Yemeni consultations in Riyadh later this month.
The Houthis have said they would only participate in discussion held in a neutral country and the priority should be lifting a coalition blockade on areas held by the group.
The movement ousted Yemen’s Saudi – backed government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014, prompting the alliance to intervene months later. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the verge of famine.