US sends aircraft carrier to Gulf of Aden

USS Theodore Roosevelt moves to Gulf of Aden to intercept possible Iranian weapon deliveries to Houthis

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is moving toward the Gulf of Aden from the Persian Gulf as the US increases its presence in the region and intercepts weapon deliveries to Houthis while the fighting in Yemen continues

The move comes following last week’s UN Security Council resolution imposing an arms embargo on Iranian-backed Houthi militias.

Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren, said the carrier left the Persian Gulf for Yemeni waters because of increased instability in the region.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is a warship carrying F-18 fighter jets, and is accompanied by her escort ship the USS Normandy, a guided-missile cruiser.

Defence officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said the purpose of the move is to intercept Iranian ships delivering weapons to the Houthis.

Western and Gulf Arab countries claim Iran is supplying the weapons to Houthi militias.

“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Iran denies the claims despite openly providing political and humanitarian support to the Shiite group.

With the arrival of USS Roosevelt, America will have nine warships off the coast of Yemen.

The US was already giving logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition launching air strikes against the Houthis aimed at stopping the advance of the rebels.

Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi had to flee the country when Houthis attacked his headquarters in the Yemeni port city of Aden, where he had based himself after escaping house arrest imposed by the Houthis.

The Houthis had previously forced President Hadi to resign after seizing the control of the capital Sanaa earlier this year and then dissolving the parliament, moves which were not recognized as legitimate by the international community.

Since then efforts by the UN to reach a deal between different factions in the country have failed and fighting still continues in the country, causing the deaths and displacement of thousands of people.

TRTWorld and agencies