Yemen rebel attack sparks fire in Saudi gas plant

Saudi Arabia Yemen

Saudi Arabia Yemen

Forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) began withdrawing from government institutions in Yemen's southern port city of Aden on Saturday, paving the way for upcoming Saudi-brokered reconciliation talks, a military official told Xinhua.

The separatist fighters last week ousted unionist troops loyal to Hadi from what was the capital of the formerly independent south in clashes that left about 40 people dead.

Saudi Arabia that leads the anti-Houthi military campaign in Yemen officially invited the government officials and the STC to attend negotiations in Riyadh to resolve the disputes through dialogue away from violent acts.

On Saturday, AFP journalists saw Saudi and Emirati military vehicles deployed around the positions vacated by the separatists. An armed secession bid four years later ended in occupation by northern forces, giving rise to resentments which persist to this day.

The military source of Yemen's government forces said on condition of anonymity that "the Saudi-led coalition intensified airstrikes against the main strongholds of the Houthis particularly in Saada".

Regarding the country's presidential palace, Haitham said that the palace was "not a target for us from the beginning ... but we were able to secure it from the terrorist elements, and was handed over earlier this week to the leadership of the Saudi-led Arab coalition".

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It reiterated Arab parliament's solidarity with Saudi Arabia in all measures it takes to protect its security and stability.

Yemen's long-running war has triggered what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million - more than two-thirds of the population - in need of aid.

The attack on the Shaybah oil field was carried out "most probably" by three drones, the source said, adding that it had caused no casualties and that the fire had been extinguished.

Al-Falih also stressed that Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms this cowardly attack, and affirms that this action of sabotage is a continuation of the series of vulgar attacks targeting the global oil supply chain that includes those that were recently launched against oil pipelines in the kingdom and tankers in the Arabian Gulf.

Shaybah oil field and refinery, which has the largest strategic oil reserve in Saudi Arabia, was targeted in the Yemeni drone strikes, al-Masirah TV channel reported on Saturday.

The channel later broadcast a speech by rebel chief Abdelmalek al-Huthi, who said all the group's military operations were "a legitimate response to Saudi aggression".

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