Iran has deployed a fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden, the republic's naval commander has confirmed. The deployment follows US cruise missile strikes on Yemeni positions thought to be under Houthi rebel control.
The Iranian Navy sent the warships to international waters for a mission that includes entering the area off the southern coast of Yemen, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has confirmed. The area is among the world's busiest maritime trade routes.
"The 34th Fleet is comprised of the Bushehr logistic vessel and Alborz destroyer, and will conduct a three-month mission," the commander said, adding that the fleet had departed from Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas. He dismissed claims the fleet has been deployed to intervene in the conflict in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia, which has fought a long war with Yemen's Houthi rebels, accuses Iran of supporting the group--a charge denied by Tehran.
The US military recently claimed to have carried out "limited self-defense...