News and Analysis

Extremists Launch Attack Against Saudi Oil Facilities. Biden Removed Them From Terrorist List.

   DailyWire.com
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 25: An Aramco oil depot close to the circuit is seen in flames following an incident during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 25, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Peter J Fox/Getty Images

A group of Iranian-backed extremists, which Democrat President Joe Biden removed from the official Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list, claimed credit on Friday for an attack on Saudi energy facilities.

“At (1725), Saudi Aramco’s Bulk Plant in Jeddah was targeted with an act of aggression, the early indications of which suggest that it was targeted by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia,” the Saudi Press Agency said in a statement. “A fire erupted in (2) tanks in the oil facility; the fire was controlled, and no injuries or loss of life were recorded. This hostile escalation targets oil facilities, and aims to undermine energy security and the backbone of global economy. These hostile attacks had no impact or repercussions in any way, shape or form on public life in Jeddah City.”

The attacks came as Jeddah is hosting the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which will go ahead as planned this weekend.

The Houthi extremists later claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that they “did several attacks with drones and ballistic missiles” in Saudi Arabia, including an “Aramco installation in Jeddah (and) vital installations in Riyadh.”

Videos that circulated online showed massive plumes of smoke above the facilities that were hit.

The Associated Press reported:

Meanwhile, Saudi state TV also acknowledged attacks in one town targeting water tanks that damaged vehicles and homes. Another attack targeted an electrical substation in an area of southwestern Saudi Arabia near the Yemeni border, state TV said.

The North Jiddah Bulk Plant stores diesel, gasoline and jet fuel for use in Jiddah, the kingdom’s second-largest city. It accounts for over a quarter of all of Saudi Arabia’s supplies and also supplies fuel crucial to running a regional desalination plant.

The Houthis have twice targeted the North Jiddah plant with cruise missiles. One attack came in November 2020. The last came on Sunday as part of a wider barrage by the Houthis.

The Trump administration designated the Houthis, also known as Ansarallah, as an FTO and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under the leadership of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Biden administration quickly reversed the terrorist designation after taking over in early 2021.

The Council on Foreign Relations noted:

The main defense of the Trump administration decision to call the Houthis terrorists is that they repeatedly commit acts of terrorism. QED. And the main critique of the Biden administration’s revocation of that decision is equally simple: the Houthis have long committed, and continue to commit, acts of terror. They should be designated an FTO because they are an FTO.

“These designations will provide additional tools to confront terrorist activity and terrorism by Ansarallah, a deadly Iran-backed militia group in the Gulf region,” Pompeo said in a statement at the time. “The designations are intended to hold Ansarallah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping.”