The Department of State Tuesday issued a statement urging its citizens to carefully consider the risks of travelling to Saudi Arabia due to the threats from terrorist groups and the threat of ballistic missile attacks on civilians by rebel forces in Yemen.

The warning came just two weeks after U.S.-allied Saudi Arabia said that it had shot down a ballistic missile fired by Iran-aligned Houthis from Yemen towards the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The missile, which the Houthis said was in response to Saudi-led air strikes on civilians in Yemen, was shot down near Riyadh airport. There were no casualties.

The warning published on the U.S. State Department’s website said that the terrorists affiliated to the Islamic State group (ISIS) are targeting major cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran, including areas frequented by U.S. citizens and Westerners.

According to the statement issued by the department, on Oct. 7, a terrorist had attacked a Saudi government installation in Jeddah where two Saudi guards were shot dead and three others injured when the gunman drove up to the gate of the royal palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and opened fire. Since May, sectarian issues in the Qatif region in the Eastern Province have resulted in several attacks against Saudi forces conducting security operations there. 

The statement said that the Saudi security forces are continuously countering terrorist activities and have been able to successfully disrupt multiple terrorist attacks and killed or detained several high-profile ISIS members.

Saudi authorities had announced on June 23, that they had foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca when a suicide bomber during a security operation blew himself up. The authorities had also announced the arrest of several suspects who possessed suicide belts and materials for the construction of improvised explosive devices which they intended to use to attack the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh, the report explained.

The report went on to say, "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 Nov. 4 resulted in debris falling near King Khalid International Airport north of Riyadh."

It also stated that the Yemeni forces routinely fire artillery at Saudi border towns and launch cross-border attacks against Saudi military personnel.

The statement warned U.S. government personnel and their families to avoid traveling to any area within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemeni border, including the cities of Jizan and Najran. It mentioned that since the U.S. Mission’s ability to provide consular assistance in this region is limited, citizens should not travel to this area.

Due to major security concerns, the statement clearly mentioned U.S. government personnel and their families should not travel to Qatif and its suburbs, in the Eastern Province, and Hofuf and its suburbs, in the Al-Ahsa governorate.

The Department of State also warned citizens to avoid traveling to the Central African Republic (CAR) due to an unpredictable security situation subject to rapid deterioration, the activities of armed groups and violent crime.