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Americans warned of missile, drone attacks by US embassy in Saudi Arabia

Interior of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (U.S. State Department photo/Released)
October 28, 2020

The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia issued a warning on Wednesday about potential missile and drone attacks targeting the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The State Department initially issued a travel advisory warning stating the U.S. Embassy was tracking warnings of possible missile strikes. The State Department later said it was no longer tracking missile and drone reports but still advised to exercise caution around the threat of missile and drone attacks.

The State Department’s travel advisory account tweeted, “UPDATE: The Embassy is no longer tracking reports of missiles/drones headed toward Riyadh. Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism and the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian targets. Read our full advisory here.”

The State Department tweet linked to an advisory that stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has supplied Yemen-based Houthis and other regional proxy groups with weapons, including drones, missiles, and rockets. Houthi militants continue to plan and conduct attacks against locations in Saudi Arabia. Violence associated with Iran-supported groups represents a significant threat. U.S. citizens living and working near military bases and critical civilian infrastructure, particularly in the Eastern Province and areas near the border with Yemen, are at heightened risk of missile and drone attack.”

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Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed credit in September of 2019 for drone and missile attacks that targeted Saudi Arabian oil sites.

The website for the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia issued an updated advisory that maintained safety reminders for a potential missile attack.

The website advised:

  • If you hear a loud explosion or if sirens are activated, immediately seek cover.
  • If in a home or a building, go to the lowest level of the structure with the fewest exterior walls, windows, and openings; close any doors and sit near an interior wall, away from any windows or openings.
  • If you are outdoors, immediately seek cover in a hardened structure; if that is not possible, lie down and cover your head with your hands.
  • Be aware that even if the incoming missile or drone is intercepted, falling debris represents a significant risk.
  • After the attack, stay away from any debris, and monitor major news outlets for official guidance.