I have been warning that Iran’s insertion of Naval vessels into the Yemen war was very dangerous. That was when they sent two warships. Now they are sending seven more with the explicit order to resupply the Houthis. I assume that they will try to break the blockade that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have set up.
Of course the Egyptian-Arabian coalition have air superiority, at least for now.
The US Navy is right in the middle of this hornet’s nest. It is not like they have moved away. If the shooting breaks out will they be targeted? What are their rules of engagement? Will they be allowed to defend themselves? Will they be allowed to shoot back? Or will Obama order them to be sitting ducks, like the 4000 American civilians who have been left without hope of American rescue?
This via The Hill\
U.S. military officials are concerned that Iran’s support for Houthi rebels in Yemen could spark a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and plunge the region into sectarian war. ADVERTISEMENT
Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels, according to two U.S. defense officials. Officials fear the move could lead to a showdown with the U.S. or other members of a Saudi-led coalition, which is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen and is conducting its fourth week of airstrikes against the Houthis. Iran sent a destroyer and another vessel to waters near Yemen last week but said it was part of a routine counter-piracy mission. What’s unusual about the new deployment, which set out this week, is that the Iranians are not trying to conceal it, officials said. Instead, they appear to be trying to “communicate it” to the U.S. and its allies in the Gulf.
It is not clear what will happen as the convoy comes closer to Yemen. Saudi Arabia has deployed ships around Yemen to enforce the blockade, as has Egypt. An official said the ship convoy could try to land at a port in Aden, which the Houthis have taken over. Although the U.S. is assisting with the Saudi-led air campaign, it is not participating in the naval blockade of Yemen, said U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. Pat Ryder. However, the U.S. Navy is in the region and has already “consensually boarded” one Panamanian-flagged ship in the Red Sea on April 1 on the suspicion it was illegally carrying arms for the Houthis. None were found, but the move raised alarm bells in Washington over an increasingly active U.S. military role in the conflict. The Pentagon indicated this week that more boardings could occur. “We will continue to vigilantly defend freedom of navigation and to conduct consensual searches in an effort to ensure that drugs, human trafficking, weapons trafficking and other contraband are limited,” Army Col. Steve Warren said on Monday. Officials fear a naval confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia could escalate what has become a proxy war between the two countries.The U.S. has been supporting the airstrikes with intelligence and logistical support, a