Jiddah, the Red Sea port city, saw its Ottoman troops surrender to the local troops backed by the British in 1916 amid the war. That sparked the start of the Kingdom of Hejaz, which later became part of Saudi Arabia in 1932
Wednesday's attack follows on the heels of a stabbing Oct. 29 that slightly wounded a guard at the French Consulate in the city of Jiddah. The stabbing was carried out by a Saudi man, who was arrested. His motives remain unclear.
France has urged its citizens in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim-majority countries to be “on maximum alert” amid heightened tensions after an assailant decapitated a French middle school teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
The French president’s support for caricatures as a cornerstone of free speech has riled some Muslims who view the depictions as incitement and a form of hate speech.
Saudi King Salman is scheduled to deliver an annual address to the nation on Wednesday, laying out policy priorities for the coming year.