An explosive-laden drone and a ballistic missile launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted Saudi Arabian oil facilities in two locations run by the kingdom's state oil company, officials said Monday. The attack drove up oil prices, drew a rebuke from the Biden administration as it pushes for an end to the, and highlighted the risk posed by that war to one of the world's biggest oil producers.
The Saudi Energy Ministry confirmed the strikes targeting infrastructure at the port of Ras Tanura and in the city of Dhahran late on Sunday. A ministry spokesman said a drone launched from the sea hit a petroleum tank farm at Ras Tanura Port and a "ballistic missile's shrapnel" fell near Saudi Aramco's residential compound in the city of Dhahran after it was intercepted by the country's missile defense systems.
The attacks didn't cause any injuries or property damage, the spokesman said, but they're just the latest in a series of mounting attacks by thefighting Yemen's U.S.- and Saudi-backed government in a protracted war that has left more than 100,000 people dead and a nation on the brink of starvation.
The military spokesman for the Houthis, Brigadier Yahya Sareea, claimed in a statement on Sunday that the group had fired 14 drones and eight missiles at Ras Tanura, one of the world's biggest oil ports, and "military targets" in the eastern area of Dammam, as well as other areas near the Saudi Arabian border with Yemen. For years the Houthis haveover the kingdom's role in the Yemeni war.
The Saudi-led coalition released video of what it said was another "booby-trapped" drone being destroyed mid-flight by missile defense systems.
The latest attack came just hours after the Saudi-led military coalition backing Yemen's government bombed multiple Houthi positions in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, which the Houthis have held for years. Saudi Arabiafor its campaign in Yemen under the new Biden administration, but the coalition still includes several other Arab nations.
The Biden administration made an early priority of trying to end the war that has created the world's worst man-made humanitarian disaster. President Biden sent a newly-appointed envoy to the region just weeks into his tenure. But calls for a dialogue — and for Houthi attacks to stop — have gone unheeded as the White Housewith a standoff with the Houthis' backers, .
The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia's capital urged Americans in the country to review precautions following the weekend salvo of drones and missiles, and told them to "stay alert" in case of any additional attacks.
The embassy cited reports of possible missile attacks and explosions in the area of Dhahran, Dammam, and Khobar, saying "regional actors hostile to Saudi Arabia have conducted destructive and sometimes lethal attacks against a variety of targets."
"The heinous Houthi attacks on civilians and vital infrastructure demonstrate their lack of respect for human life and their lack of interest in pursuing peace," the embassy said in a tweet. "The United States stands with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people. Our commitment to defend the Kingdom and its security is unwavering."
CBSNews.com's Tucker Reals contributed to this report.
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