May 15, (Xinhua/GNA) - Yemen's Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for
the drone attack on Saudi Arabia's oil pipeline booster stations, further
intensifying the country's years-long conflict.
spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam on Tuesday said on Twitter that the attack on
Saudi oil facilities was a response to the Saudi attacks on his group, vowing
Houthis' readiness to launch more such attacks.
He said that
the group's forces have the ability to widen the scope of military operations
against Saudi Arabia and other countries involved in the coalition.
"This is a
message to Saudi Arabia, stop your aggression," said the Houthi spokesman.
Houthis-affiliated Masirah television network revealed more details, saying
that seven drones carried out an attack targeting pumping stations in Saudi
were hoping that the Houthi withdrawal from three key ports in the country's
strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah under a UN-brokered peace deal may lead
to de-escalation of the conflict, but the latest drone attack on Saudi oil
facilities has led to the opposite.
previously vowed to launch missiles against Saudi captial of Riyadh and Abu
Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), if the coalition forces, led
by Saudi Arabia, assaulted the port city of Hodeidah.
For Ibrahim Ban
Naji, a Yemeni observer, the odd timing of the Houthi drone attack that
targeted Saudi Arabia raised a series of questions particularly as no signs of
military escalation were reported in Hodeidah, where pro-Houthi forces actually
began unilateral redeployment two days ago. "Houthis tried to appear
non-violent in front of the world and that they are supporting peace through
announcing unilateral withdrawal from Hodeidah's ports just two days ago,"
But the drone
attack did not serve the Houthis strategy particularly at this time, and proved
the opposite, showing their real intention of escalating tension, he added.
government strongly condemned the Houthi drone attack, which was directly
incited by Iran, according to a statement released by the state-run Saba News
warned that the Iran-backed Houthis have become a real threat to regional and
terror acts that don't differ from what any other terror group does," it said.
Earlier in the
day, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Yemen Mohamed al-Jaber said in a tweet that
the Houthi militia proves its obedience to Iran by "serving its terrorist
agenda" at the expense of Yemeni people and regional security.
The Saudi envoy
said that the Houthis are "disregarding the difficult humanitarian
situation in Yemen," and continuing their "defiance of all
international efforts aimed at bringing peace to Yemen."
the country's southern part, Houthis continued with military mobilizations and
began advancing deeper into the government-controlled province of Dhale,
following weeks of intense fighting that left scores killed or injured.
Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths voiced his deep concern about the ongoing
escalation in Dhale, and urged all parties to exercise utmost restraint.
The UN envoy
said that any military escalation risks a setback in the progress towards peace
Ali Hadi, a
strategic military expert based in Aden, told Xinhua that the military capabilities
of the Houthi group should be taken more seriously following years-long of the
anti-Houthi military campaign.
are posing a real threat not only for Yemen but for the whole region, and it's
time to review the Saudi-led coalition's plans and revise its military
strategies with more seriousness," he said.
He added that
the attack on Saudi oil facilities showed that the rebels are not ready to
promote peace and are obviously acting according to their close ties with their
that the drone attack to trigger more serious reaction from the anti-Houthi
military coalition to enter a new phase aimed at eradicating the military
capabilities of the rebel group.
have launched dozens of drone strikes and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi
cities in the past months to retaliate against the Saudi-led coalition's
airstrikes on their positions.
has been leading a Sunni Arab military coalition against the Yemeni Shiite
Houthi rebels since March 2015 to support the internationally-recognized
government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the rebels forced him into
exile and seized much of Yemen's north, including the capital Sanaa.