China on Monday supported Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard security and stability and said it always opposed attacks targeting civilians and civil facilities.
“We support Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard security and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing in response to a question about Yemen’s Houthis missiles and drones attacks on Saudi oil facilities.
On evening of March 7, Houthi forces in Yemen said in a statement that they fired eight ballistic missiles and attacked oil and military facilities in Saudi Arabia.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian: #China always opposes attacks targeting civilians and civil facilities. We support #Saudi_Arabia's efforts to safeguard security and stability and call on relevant sides to refrain from taking actions that escalate regional tensions. pic.twitter.com/JKcLRsivjD
— Embassy of China in KSA سفارة الصين في السعودية (@ChinaEmbKSA) March 8, 2021
The spokesperson said the Chinese side always opposed attacks targeting civilians and civil facilities.
“We call our relevant sides to refrain from taking actions that may escalate regional tensions,” he added.
The Saudi power ministry mentioned an oil storage yard at Ras Tanura, the positioning of an oil refinery and the world’s largest offshore oil loading facility, was attacked with a drone however there had been no casualties or property loss.
It added that shrapnel from a ballistic missile fell close to Aramco’s residential compound in Dhahran.
US condemns Houthi attack
The United States on Monday condemned an attack by Yemen’s Houthis on Saudi oil facilities, saying the rebels needed to show seriousness about US-backed peace efforts.
“We condemn the egregious Houthi drone and missile attack against Saudi Aramco facilities,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
International oil prices rose after missile and drone attacks on oil facilities in #SaudiArabia. #Yemen's Huthis say it was them; it may suit all sides to accept this rather than look to Iran or Iraq. https://t.co/Eejk3JZqfQ
— Oxford Analytica (@oxfordanalytica) March 8, 2021
“The frequency of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia — attacks like these — are not the actions of a group that is serious about peace,” he said.
“The Houthis, in our view and in the view of our allies and partners, have to demonstrate their willingness to engage in a political process. They need to, quite simply, stop attacking and start negotiating.”
The Iranian-supported Houthis, who have been under bombardment in a devastating offensive by Saudi Arabia, claimed an attack on facilities of the oil giant that also sent shrapnel falling close to a residential compound for oil workers.
Saudi Arabia also intercepted a flurry of drones and responded by pounding the rebel-held capital Sanaa.
President Joe Biden has put a priority on ending the six-year conflict, which has fueled what the United Nations calls the world’s most dire humanitarian situation, appointing an envoy, Tim Lenderking, to try to broker peace.
The administration also removed the Houthis from a list of designated terrorist groups in response to complaints from aid groups that the US measures put their operations at risk.
APP with additional input by GVS News Desk