Iran Warships off the Coast of Yemen, Potential Attempt to Supply Houthi Rebels
This Wednesday, Iran had sent ships to Yemen and arrived on Yemen’s southern coast. According to Iran, the ships were sent in order to protect cargo ships and tankers against pirates. It was also reported that the fleet would be stationed there for three months.
According to Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, “There is no need for our flotilla of warships to dock in Yemen, but we are present in the Gulf of Aden powerfully and at present, our 34th fleet has been sent to the region.”
However, Saudi Arabia and the West have reason to believe that the Iranian fleet may be attempting to smuggle weaponry to the Houthis. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren noted that there were nine cargo ships among the Iranian fleet.
The United States fleet has currently nine ships off the coast of Yemen, including the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and missile cruiser USS Normandy
The Houthis are Shiite rebels fighting a civil war against President Hadi, who was forced to flee the country. The Houthis are in control of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa while Hadi’s supporters are clustered around southern Yemen. Al Qaeda has a strong presence in Eastern Yemen.