An Iranian warship entered the Red Sea through the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Tasnim news agency reported. On Sunday, American helicopters from the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group fired upon Houthi rebels who were trying to board a Maersk container ship.
The Iranian warship Alborz entered the Red Sea through the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday evening. The information came after weeks of rocket attacks by Yemen’s Houthis on transport ships.
Powered by Iran the rebels say they are attacking ships belonging to or carrying goods to or from Israel. The Houthis maintain that the attacks are an expression of solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Tasnim did not cite Iran’s reasons for sending the destroyer, but mentioned that Iranian units had been operating in the area since 2009 “to, among other things, secure shipping lanes and repel pirates.”
Response to Houthi attacks on transport ships
In response last month United States formed a multinational maritime task force to protect ships.
On Sunday, U.S. Navy helicopters from the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group fired Houthi rebelswho tried to board a Maersk container ship. As a result, three boats were sunk and the Yemenis reported that ten of their fighters were killed.
On Monday, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said that Great Britain “is willing to take direct action” against the rebels “to prevent threats to freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.”
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron announced a conversation with the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, about tensions in the Red Sea. He told him that Iran also had responsibility for protecting the transport and preventing attacks.
Main photo source: PH1 Alex Hicks