A USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier and guided missile destroyer USS Normandy were deployed over information that 7-9 Iranian vessels are heading to Yemen. The Iranian vessels are believed to be delivering illegal weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen.
U.S. remains strong ally to Saudi Arabia and Egypt
The deployment of U.S. warships is a way of reassuring Saudi Arabia and Egypt that the U.S. remains on their side. There are currently nine U.S. warships deployed off the coast in Yemen, CNN reported. U.S. officials and other military officials from Saudi Arabia and Egypt were elusive when asked about the deployment of the U.S. warships.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest did not comment regarding the said deployment of the U.S. warships. He, however, confirmed that the U.S. is worried about Iran’s support of the Houthis.
“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country. These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East,” Earnest told a press briefing as quoted by The Associated Press.
“The Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons,” he added.
Iran denies any illegal support
Meanwhile, Commander of Iran’s Regular Navy, Flotilla Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, denied the allegations. He said the activities of Iranian vessels are within the bounds of the law. He clarified that Iranian navy ships deployed near Yemen were tasked to intercept piracy, which is rampant in the region.
“We don’t let anyone give us warnings and threats, because we are working according to international law and regulations. And we work for the security of our country and other countries,” Sayyari told CNN.
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