The Houthis announced on February 21 that the Yemeni Missile Force and Air Force had targeted oil facilities in the western Saudi city of Yanbu in a joint operation, dubbed Deterrent Balance 3.
In an official statement, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Yemeni group, said that twelve suicide unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of the Samad-3 type, two Quds cruise missiles and a Zulfiqar ballistic missile were used in the attack.
According to Brig. Gen. Sari, the UAVs and missiles targeted a facility of Saudi oil giant Aramco as well as “sensitive targets” in Yanbu.
“This attack comes as a natural and legitimate response to the crimes of aggression, the latest of which was the crime of Al-Jawf, where dozens of civilians, mostly women and children, martyred,” the spokesman said.
More than 30 civilians were reportedly killed in a series of Saudi airstrikes the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf last week. The coalition acknowledged the crime and said that the strikes were conducted during a search operation for the crew of a Saudi warplane that was shot down by the Houthis.
While the Houthis claim that Operation Deterrent Balance was a success, the Saudi-led coalition had announced that the attack on Yanbu was foiled. Saudi activists released videos confirming that some of the drones and missile were intercepted. However, explosions were also reported in the vicinity of the coastal city.
Deterrent Balance 3 is the most recent in a series of large-scale attacks by the Houthis on the Saudi oil sector. The first attack, Deterrent Balance 1, targeted the Shaybah super-giant oil field in southeast Saudi Arabia on August 17. Deterrent Balance 2 took place on September 14 and targeted two strategic oil facilities in the eastern Saudi areas of Buqayq and Khurais.