US warns its citizens in Saudi Arabia of potential missile, drone attacks

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The US State Department has issued a security alert to its citizens in Saudi Arabia warning them of the risks of potential missile and drone attacks amid heightened security tensions in the region.

“In the past, regional actors hostile to Saudi Arabia have conducted missile and drone attacks against both civilian and military targets inside the Kingdom. US citizens living and working near military bases and oil and gas facilities and other critical civilian infrastructure, particularly in the Eastern Province and areas near the border with Yemen, are at heightened risk of attack. Saudi Arabia has a system of civil defense sirens,” the warning posted on the US Consulate in Saudi Arabia’s website read.

There have been tensions in the region after US strikes on Friday killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes. Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei vowed "severe revenge" after the killing of Soleimani and the country’s Supreme National Security Council said the Islamic republic would retaliate in the "right time and place" for the Iranian commander's assassination.

Saudi Aramco oil facilities came under attack last September. The September 14, 2019, drone attacks caused fires at two Saudi Aramco facilities, in Abqaiq and Hijrat Khurais oilfield. The attacks knocked out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and damaged the world’s biggest crude processing plant.

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