Iranian ships have turned back, away from Yemen, de-escalating tensions that sent American warships steaming toward the area recently in anticipation of halting Iran’s supply of arms to Houthi rebels.
A defense official told CNN that Iran’s decision to turn the ships away
from the Yemeni coast was a “promising sign.” President Barack Obama said the U.S. has been sending “very direct messages” to Iran, warning against arming the Houthis.
“U.S. officials had stressed this week that Iranian attempts to arm Houthi rebels would be a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, and officials have been urging the Iranians to keep away from the turbulent Gulf nation,” CNN reported.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, was deployed to the Yemen area on late last week, and it has already been sent on to the Persian Gulf, CNN said.
Even as the situation leveled out on the coast, Saudi Arabia continued heavy bombing of the Yemen Shiite Houthi rebels.
In return, the rebels have threatened to attack Saudi Arabia if the bombings aren’t halted.
“(The Houthis) will carry out a military attack on Saudi Arabia, if the airstrikes on Yemen don’t come to an end,” RT quoted Mohammed Bahiti, member of the Ansar Allah movement, from an Al Mayadeen TV interview
. He added that rebels “do not need missiles” to attack.
Bahiti indicated the rebels would be prepared to resume United Nations talks that ended in January, RT said.
As the USS Roosevelt changed positions, a Facebook post on the ship’s page
reminded military personnel: “Loose lips sink ships! Please be wary of discussion or speculation of the ship's location or anticipated inport dates before they're officially released.”
“My son is on this ship and I pray that he and all the others are safe until they return home. No one should be saying where they are or what they are doing. It endangers them and their mission,” one woman posted on Facebook.
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