Smoke billows from an oil storage facility in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on March 25, 2022. Image Credit: AP

Riyadh: Saudi state TV says there was a 'hostile operation' targeting Jiddah oil depot that erupted in flames ahead of F1 race.

Journalists covering F1 practice saw the smoke rise over the city around 5:40 pm.

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Earlier the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen intercepted a ballistic missile and 10 bomb-laden drones targeting energy and civilian sites on Friday, the kingdom’s Saudi Press Agency said.

The ballistic missile was aimed at Najran city, while nine drones were heading toward targets in southern, central and eastern regions, it reported without giving details. Another drone bound for Jazan was intercepted later Friday, according to SPA.

'Act of aggression'

The Official Spokesperson for the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki said on Friday that Saudi Aramco’s Bulk Plant in Jeddah was targeted with an act of aggression, the early indications of which suggest that it was targeted by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

A fire erupted in two tanks in the oil facility; the fire was controlled, and no injuries or loss of life were recorded.

This hostile escalation targets oil facilities, and aims to undermine energy security and the backbone of global economy. These hostile attacks had no impact or repercussions in any way, shape or form on public life in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, has suffered regular drone and missile attacks carried out by Yemen’s Houthis on its territory over the past two years.

This week it called on the international community to do more to counter the strikes and warned that they could disrupt global energy supplies.

The coalition began a military campaign in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis after they took over the capital and dislodged the internationally recognized government. The war has devolved into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.