Skip to main content

'Terrorists may attack': US warns its citizens over travelling to Saudi Arabia

State Department advises Americans not to travel within 50 miles of border with Yemen as 'groups plotting attacks'
Abha airport has been frequently attacked by drones and missiles launched from Yemen (Reuters)

The US State Department has called on American citizens to "exercise increased caution" while travelling to Saudi Arabia, a travel advisory posted on its website said on Wednesday.

The department warned US citizens not to travel within 50 miles of the border with Yemen as "groups continue plotting possible attacks in Saudi Arabia".

EXCLUSIVE: Iranian drones launched from Iraq carried out attacks on Saudi oil plants
Read More »

"Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities," it added.

The warning comes after Saturday's attacks on the kingdom which targeted two Saudi Aramco sites, Abqaiq and Khurais, in eastern Saudi Arabia.

The State Department said it had limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Jizan and Najran, as well as Qatif in the Eastern province, as US Mission personnel and their families were restricted from travelling to those areas.

It added that US Mission personnel and their families were not permitted to use the airport in Abha without Chief of Mission approval. 

Abha airport has been frequently attacked by drones and missiles launched from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthi group.

'Slander'

Saudi Arabia said it would produce evidence on Wednesday linking Iran to the attacks that Washington believes originated from Iran.

Iraqi intelligence sources told Middle East Eye on Sunday that the attacks were carried out by Iranian drones launched from southern Iraq.

Trump said he's waiting for Saudi Arabia's signal on Iran. Rebuke followed
Read More »

"They (the US) want to impose maximum ... pressure on Iran through slander," Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said according to state media. 

"We don't want conflict in the region... Who started the conflict?" he said, blaming Washington and its Gulf allies for the war in Yemen.

In an official note to the US via the Swiss embassy on Wednesday, Tehran again denied any involvement in Saturday's strikes and said Iran's retaliation to any military attack on it would not be "limited to its source", Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

"Iran has reiterated that it was not behind attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities and it has warned that any move by America against Iran will get immediate reaction," ISNA said.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman requested help from South Korea to strengthen its country's air defence system following Saturday's attacks, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday.

The two sides agreed to continue consultations, it added.