WASHINGTON – The State Department said Thursday it is authorizing the departure of family members and nonessential U.S. embassy personnel from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The travel warnings, one for each country, did not mention the situation in Iraq. It was unclear whether they were linked to the possibility of a U.S. military strike against that country, which shares borders with both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The statement on Kuwait said private American citizens currently in that country "should evaluate rigorously" their own security situation and are strongly urged to consider departing.
It noted that three Americans have been killed in Kuwait over the past four months. The most recent occurred last week when a U.S. government contractor was killed in an ambush.
The statement on Saudi Arabia also urged private Americans in the country to consider departing, especially given decreased flight availability at a time of high demand related to school holidays and the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, location of Islam's holiest site.
Americans in both countries who decide to remain were encouraged to register at the consular sections of the respective embassies and to enroll in the emergency alert networks that operate in both, the statements said.
They reaffirmed previous travel warnings that urged Americans to be on guard for potential terrorist actions against U.S. citizens abroad, especially in the Middle East region.