Russian navy helping Iran arm insurgents in Yemen
TEL AVIV – In a development that could escalate tensions in an already volatile region, the Russian navy has been aiding Iranian ships attempting to bring arms to the Tehran-backed rebels currently leading an insurgency in Yemen, according to informed Middle Eastern defense officials speaking to WND.
The development comes as the Obama administration dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt off the coast of Yemen reportedly to thwart the Iranian weapons convoys headed to the country to help to Houthi rebels.
The defense officials said the Russian navy ships are attempting to maneuver to create a clear path for the Iranian vessels to bypass the U.S. fleet and arrive in Yemen.
The officials said Saudi Arabia, which backs the embattled Yemeni government, filed a complaint with Moscow about the purported Russian naval movements.
It was not immediately clear where the Russian navy was attempting such a maneuver.
According to reports, Russia’s navy last Sunday docked in Yemen and helped to evacuated more than 650 people of different nationalities both by air and by sea. One Russian navy ship reportedly took in more than 308 evacuees last Sunday while about 350 more were moved via two Russian aircraft.
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The USS Roosevelt is reportedly tracking a convoy of Iranian ships currently heading to the Gulf of Aden, according to two defense officials speaking to USA Today on condition of anonymity.
Besides the Houthi insurgency, the Pentagon is also concerned about the Bab al-Mandab gateway off Yemen’s coast, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
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