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Timeline: Yemen rebels step up Saudi Arabia attacks

Presumed Houthi militants in Yemen have stepped up attacks on SaudiArabia, targeting the capital, Riyadh; the southwestern city of Jizan, home toa major refinery project; and a Saudi crude oil tanker, among other targets.

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Analysts say the increase in the frequency and the number of targetsreflects an intensification of the conflict in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, which points the finger at Iran for supplying the weapons,meantime claims to have intercepted all incoming missiles.

The attack on the Abqaiq tanker on April 3 suggested the rebels havebranched out, although the damage appeared limited and shipping industrysources have played down the overall risk.

**MARCH 25: Saudi Arabia said it had intercepted seven ballistic missilesfired by Yemen-based Houthi militants and aimed at multiple locations,including the capital, Riyadh, and locations in the southwest of the countrynear the border with Yemen. Of these, Jizan is home to a 400,000 b/d refineryproject, which is due onstream in the fourth quarter of this year at a cost of$4 billion. The large number of targets suggested an intensification ofmilitant attacks, though not necessarily of their destructiveness. In theRiyadh incident, one person, believed to be a foreign national, was killed andothers injured by falling debris, the authorities said. Saudi Arabia hasclaimed success intercepting such attacks using Patriot missiles, althoughindependent observers question their reliability.

**MARCH 29: Saudi forces intercepted another ballistic missile fired fromYemen and targeted at Jizan, the military said.

**MARCH 31: Saudi Arabia said it had intercepted a missile aimed at thesouthern city of Najran, near Yemen.

**APRIL 3: A Saudi VLCC tanker, the Abqaiq, came under attack by presumedHouthi militants off the Yemeni port of Hodeidah near the Bab al-Mandabstrait, a shipping chokepoint. The tanker was heading to the EgyptianRed Sea port of Ain Sukhna, loading point for the SUMED pipeline to theMediterranean. It diverted to the Saudi port of Jeddah after theincident.

**APRIL 4: Saudi forces intercepted another ballistic missile fired fromYemen toward Jizan. Saudi Aramco said there was no disruption of therefinery project.

**APRIL 11: Saudi authorities said they had made further interceptions,including a ballistic missile over Riyadh and a reconnaissance dronenear the southwestern airport at Abha.

-- Nick Coleman,

-- Edited by Lisa Miller,