State Department Issues ‘Increased Caution’ Travel Warning for Saudi-Yemen Border

By Victor Westerkamp

The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 2 warning to exercise increased caution if traveling to the border region between Saudi Arabia and Yemen due to ongoing threats of terrorist attacks on civilian targets.

The warning went as follows: “Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism and the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian targets.”

It then went on warning not to travel to areas “Within 50 miles of the border with Yemen due to terrorism and armed conflict.”

It explained that “Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Terrorists 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.”

Saudi Aramco drone attack
Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Sept. 14, 2019. (Reuters)

It further explained that the U.S. government cannot guarantee to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens, “Within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border, including the cities of Jizan and Najran, and Qatif in the Eastern province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah.”

Finally, it stated that “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border as U.S. government personnel and their families are restricted from travel to this area.”

On Sept. 14, The Epoch Times published an article about the attacks on the Saudi oil fields by the Houthi rebels.

Yemen Rebels Claim Drone Attacks on Major Saudi Oil Sites

Drones claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oilfield operated by Saudi Aramco early Saturday, sparking a huge fire at a processor crucial to global energy supplies.

It wasn’t clear if there were any injuries in the attacks in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, nor what effect it would have on oil production in the kingdom. The Houthis are backed by Tehran amid a yearslong Saudi-led war against them in Yemen.

Satellite image from drone attack
A satellite image provided by NASA Worldview shows fires following Yemen’s Houthi rebels claiming a drone attack on two major oil installations in eastern Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14, 2019. (NASA Worldview via AP)

In a short address aired by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel, military spokesman Yahia Sarie said the rebels launched 10 drones in their coordinated attack on the sites. He warned attacks by the terrorists would only get worse if the war continues.

smoke from armaco oil facility, saudi arabia
Smoke billows from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq about 37 miles southwest of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sept. 14, 2019. (AFP/Getty Images)

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 14, 2019, in this picture obtained from social media. (via Reuters) In August, Houthi drones struck Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah oil field, which produces some 1 million barrels of crude oil a day near its border with the United Arab Emirates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.