November 29, 2017

Travel Warning – Saudi Arabia

U.S citizens are being warned to carefully consider the risks of travel to Saudi Arabia due to continuing threats from terrorist groups and the threat of ballistic missile attacks on civilian targets by rebel forces in Yemen.

Terrorist threats persist throughout Saudi Arabia, including in major cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran, and attacks can occur without warning anywhere in the country. Terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its affiliates, have targeted both Saudi and Western government interests, mosques and other religious sites (both Sunni and Shia), and places frequented by U.S. citizens and other Westerners.  On October 7, a terrorist attacked a Saudi government installation in Jeddah.  Since May, sectarian issues in the Qatif region in the Eastern Province resulted in several attacks against Saudi forces conducting security operations there.

Violence from the ongoing conflict in Yemen continues to spill over into Saudi Arabia.  In the past year, rebels have fired several long-range missiles into Saudi Arabia capable of reaching the vicinities of Riyadh and Jeddah, and they have publicly stated their intent to continue doing so.  The most recent attack on November 4 resulted in debris falling near King Khalid International Airport north of Riyadh.

Yemeni forces also routinely fire artillery at Saudi border towns and launch cross-border attacks against Saudi military personnel.  U.S. citizens should prohibit their travels to any area within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemeni border, including the cities of Jizan and Najran.  As a result of security concerns, the U.S. Mission’s ability to provide consular assistance in this region is limited, and U.S. citizens should not travel to this area.

Also due to security concerns, U.S. citizens should refrain from traveling to:

·         Qatif and its suburbs, in the Eastern Province

·         Hofuf and its suburbs, in the Al-Ahsa governorate

If you should have any questions or concerns or wish to request an update on a given situation in a foreign country do not hesitate to contact the following:

Rick Phillips                                                                         Cody Cobb                                                                                                                            (706) 886-9929 = direct                                               (706) 225-2526 = direct                                                                                              (706) 491-9888 = mobile                                              (706) 491-5138 = mobile