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RIYADH, Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group fired missiles and drones at Saudi energy and water desalination facilities, which oil firm Saudi Aramco said on Sunday did not impact supplies or cause casualties.

The Saudi-led coalition battling the group said that the attacks late Saturday and early Sunday and debris from intercepted projectiles caused material damage but no deaths.

It said the strikes were aimed at a water desalination plant in Al-Shaqeeq, an Aramco distribution station in Jizan, a power station in Dhahran al Janub, a gas facility in Khamis Mushait and an Aramco liquefied natural gas plant in Yanbu.

Aramco <2222.SE> CEO Amin Nasser told a call about the company's earnings on Sunday: "There was ... a number of attacks early in the morning at our facilities. And thankfully there were no injuries or fatalities and, no impact to the company's supply to its customers."

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said they fired ballistic and winged missiles as well as drones at Aramco facilities in the capital Riyadh, Yanbu and "other areas".

This was followed by attacks on "vital targets" in other Saudi regions, Sarea added, listing several.

The Saudi-led coalition said initial investigations showed the group fired Iranian-made cruise missiles at the desalination plant and Aramco's Jizan distribution centre. It said Saudi air defences intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile and nine drones.

"These hostile attacks and debris resulting from interceptions caused some material damage at the facilities and civilian cars and houses. There was no loss of life as of now," said coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Malki.

State media posted images and videos of what appeared to be projectile debris, damaged cars and structures and firefighters dousing flames.

PROXY WAR

The seven-year Yemen conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Malki described the attacks as a "dangerous escalation" and a Houthi rejection of planned Yemeni consultations in Riyadh.

The group has said it would only participate in discussions in a neutral country and the priority should be lifting a coalition blockade on Houthi-held areas.

The movement ousted Yemen's government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014, prompting the alliance to intervene months later. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the verge of famine.

Source: Reuters

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