Saudi Arabia continues to suffer consequences of its unsuccessful invasion of Yemen.
On September 14, the Armed Forces of the Houthi government carried out a successful strike on facilities of Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Saudi Aramco in Buqayq and Khurais. In an official statement, a spokesperson for the Houthis, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, said that the attack, dubbed Operation Deterrent Balance 2, was a response to the Saudi aggression.
According to the Houthis, the strike was carried out with ten suicide unmanned aerial vehicles. Both targets are located in more than 1,100km from the Houthi-controlled part of northwestern Yemen. Therefore, they likely used their long-range Samad-3 UAVs in the attack. Later, photos appeared suggesting that the Houthis also used at least one missile, most likely the Qods cruise missile.
The strike caused large fires and disrupted Saudi Arabia’s oil production and export. The attack reportedly impacted 5 million barrels per day of oil production — about half the kingdom’s current output.
On the same day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran claiming that the Islamic Republic has already conducted about ‘100 attacks’ on Saudi Arabia. Senator Lindsey Graham even sated that the US should carry out military strikes on Iran’s oil facilities.
US President Donald Trump also phoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and offered help to the Kingdom in ensuring its security. Trump added that the attack on the Saudi oil facilities could be detrimental to the US and the global economy.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to the accusations by denouncing them as lies.
The conflict in Yemen became a visual demonstration that a large military budget is not enough to achieve military victories. Saudi Arabia’s supposed “short victorious war” turned into the prolonged conflict, which the Kingdom is apparently loosing. However, Saudi Arabia cannot withdraw its troops from the country and accept a peace deal with the Houthi government because such decision will cause a strong political crisis inside the kingdom and will undermine the weakening positions of the royal house even further.