Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia says no Filipino nationals harmed in Huthi attacks last week

Water is sprayed by fire brigades toward the smoke and flames rising from a Saudi Aramco oil facility in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, on March 25, 2022, following a reported Yemeni rebels attack. Yemeni rebels said they attacked a Saudi Aramco oil facility in Jeddah as part of a wave of drone and missile assaults as a huge cloud of smoke was seen near the Formula One venue in the city.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia said no Filipino nationals were harmed in the wave of attacks by Huthi rebels in Jeddah on March 20 and 25.

“The Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah will continue to coordinate with local authorities and the Filipino community to ensure the safety and security of Filipinos in the Kingdom,” the embassy said in a statement Sunday

Public petroleum and natural gas company Saudi Aramco’s refinery was attacked with an armed drone on Monday last week, leading to a drop in production.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the country “will not incur any responsibility” should there be oil shortages due to the attacks by Yemeni Huthi rebels. The country warned that the attacks are a “direct threat” to the world’s oil supply. 

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries noted that Saudi Arabia has around 17% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves. Members of the OPEC cartel were ordered to increase production after the Russian invasion of Ukraine put a pressure on global supply and caused a surge in oil prices.

On Friday, Huthi rebels set off batches of ballistic and winged missiles and drones against its Saudi targets. 

This included oil refineries, “vital facilities” in capital Riyadh, and Aramco facilities, which caught global attention as it started to blow smoke amid a televised practice Formula One session happening nearby. 

Filipinos in Saudi Arabia were called on to keep an eye on security advisories and to contact the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah should there be an emergency.

“The Philippines joins the community of nations in its collective condemnation of these attacks and calls for cessation of violence against civilians,” the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia said.

Over in Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition performed airstrikes in capital Sanaa early Sunday. This comes after Huthi rebels called for a three-day truce and called for a permanent ceasefire, in exchange for Saudi Arabia to stop its airstrikes and its blockade of Yemen. 

Huthi rebels also asked the kingdom to remove “foreign forces.”

Conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels has been ongoing since 2015 and has killed hundreds of thousands. The Huthis have turned down offers for peace talks in Riyadh, which is slated for the coming days.

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