An Iranian convoy of supply ships on their way to Yemen have turned away after the U.S. deployed warships to intercept, CNN reported.
Senior U.S. officials say that the Iranian ships heading back to Iran is a good sign.
Spokesperson for the Pentagon, Col. Steve Warren, said about the Iranian ships moving away from Yemen, “I think it’s fair to say that this appears to be a de-escalation of some of the tensions that were being discussed earlier in the week.”
The American warships were deployed off the coast of Yemen to confront the Iranian supply ships, two of which were armed vessels, according to a U.S. official. The convoy was allegedly meant to supply Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen, NBC News reported.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said about the Iranian ships, “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.”
The potential confrontation comes after the United States, along with multi-national support, brokered a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The United States has also been indirectly working to end the conflict happening in Yemen.
The Foreign Minister of Yemen, Riyadh Yassin, accused Iran of attempting to break a naval blockade. Iran, though, denies arming the Houthi rebels. Iran says that they have presented a peace plan to the United Nations to end the fighting in Yemen.
Yemen is currently embroiled in a conflict with Houthi rebels that have put civilian lives at risk for nearly a month, as reported by the Inquisitr. So far, more than 1,000 people have been killed since the fight began in late March, according to the United Nations. Of the 1,000 people killed in the conflict, at least 115 of those were children. Another 172 children have been seriously wounded during the fighting.
Julien Harneis, the UNICEF representative in Yemen, released a statement about the civilians being wounded and killed in the conflict.
“There are hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen who continue to live in the most dangerous circumstances, many waking up scared in the middle of the night to the sounds of bombing and gunfire.”
Saudi Arabia had been leading a multi-national bombing campaign. The bombing campaign has been supported by the United States.
If the claim from the U.S. that Iran has been arming Houthi rebels in Yemen, it would be in violation of multiple United Nation Security Council resolutions.