Houthis in Yemen
Houthis in Yemen Reuters

Yemen's Houthi rebels said on Friday they launched attacks on Saudi energy facilities and the Saudi-led coalition said oil giant Aramco's petroleum products distribution station in Jeddah was hit, causing a fire in two storage tanks but no casualties, Reuters reported.

A huge plume of black smoke could be seen rising over the Red Sea city where the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is taking place this weekend, an eyewitness said.

The coalition statement on state media said the fire had been brought under control. Flames could still be seen in live footage aired by Saudi-owned Ekhbariya television channel.

There was no immediate comment from Aramco or the energy ministry.

The Iran-backed Houthis and their allies took over large parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, in 2015. A Saudi-led military coalition then intervened in Yemen to try to restore the government. The Houthis, in turn, have repeatedly attacked targets in Saudi Arabia.

Friday’s attack comes days after the Houthi rebels fired missiles and drones at Saudi energy and water desalination facilities, causing a temporary drop in output at a refinery but no casualties, the Saudi energy ministry and state media said.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said on Friday the group launched missiles at Aramco's facilities in Jeddah and drones at the Ras Tanura and Rabigh refineries, and that it had also targeted "vital facilities" in the capital Riyadh.

In addition to attacks on Saudi Arabia, the Houthis recently launched several attacks on the United Arab Emirates.

On January 17, the Houthis attacked three oil tankers near Abu Dhabi, killing three people and wounded six others.

Two weeks later, the Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile towards the UAE which was intercepted by the US military. The attack occurred during the visit of President Isaac Herzog to the UAE.

It has long been believed that Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Iran denies it is backing the Houthis and has also denied Saudi Arabian accusations that Tehran provided the Houthi rebels in Yemen with ballistic capabilities.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)