Houthi militants in Yemen stormed an oil facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, before of a Formula 1 event. Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, maintains many sites in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. “We carried out many drone and ballistic missile attacks,” the Huthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, said in a statement, referring to a “Aramco installation in Jeddah (and) important installations in Riyadh.”
Videos from the scene have gone viral, showing a roaring fire and massive smoke clouds near the Formula One track.
As drivers took part in practise laps near Jeddah’s F1 track, smoke billowed, with Red Bull’s world champion Max Verstappen reporting he could smell the fire while driving.
The incident was not immediately acknowledged by Saudi Arabia’s main oil corporation or official media. The strike comes after a similar attack on a Jeddah oil warehouse a few days prior.
The fire appears to be centred on the same bulk plant in North Jeddah.
The North Jeddah Bulk Plant stores diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel for usage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, Jeddah. It provides roughly a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s supplies, as well as fuel for a regional desalination facility.