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After new U.S. strikes hitting Yemen, Iran points a warning about suspected spy ships within the Mideast

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This picture issued by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on Sunday. Feb. 4, 2024 reveals a RAF Typhoon FGR4 plane returning to the bottom in Cyprus, following strikes towards Houthi targets in Yemen.
| Photo Credit: AP

Iran issued a warning on Sunday to the U.S. over probably concentrating on two cargo ships in West Asia lengthy suspected of serving as forwarding working base for Iranian commandos, simply after America and the United Kingdom launched a large airstrike marketing campaign towards Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The assertion from Iran on the Behshad and Saviz ships appeared to sign Tehran’s rising unease over the U.S. strikes in current days in Iraq, Syria and Yemen concentrating on militias backed by the Islamic Republic.

Those assaults, themselves a retaliatory marketing campaign for the killing of three U.S. troopers and wounding of dozens of others in Jordan, all stem again to Israel’s battle on Hamas within the Gaza Strip, which has escalated tensions throughout the broader Middle East and raised fears a couple of regional battle breaking out.

The Yemen strikes in a single day on Sunday struck throughout six provinces of Yemen held by the Houthi rebels, together with in Sanaa, the capital. The Houthis gave no evaluation of the injury however the U.S. described hitting underground missile arsenals, launch websites and helicopters utilized by the rebels.

“These attacks will not discourage Yemeni forces and the nation from maintaining their support for Palestinians in the face of the Zionist occupation and crimes,” Houthi navy spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree stated. “The aggressors’ airstrikes will not go unanswered.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned the Houthis after the strikes that “they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels.” That message was echoed by British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who stated: “The Houthi attacks must stop.”

The Behshad and Saviz are registered as business cargo ships with a Tehran-based firm the U.S. Treasury has sanctioned as a entrance for the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. The Saviz, then later the Behshad, have loitered for years within the Red Sea off Yemen, suspected of serving as spy positions for Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia described the Saviz as a maritime base and weapons transshipment level for the Guard, staffed by males in navy fatigues. Footage aired by Saudi-owned tv channels confirmed the vessel armed with what seemed to be a lined machine gun bolted to the ship’s deck.

In the video assertion on Sunday by Iran’s common Army, a narrator for the primary time describes the vessels as “floating armories.” The narrator describes the Behshad as aiding an Iranian mission to “counteract piracy in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.” However, Iran shouldn’t be publicly recognized to have taken half in any of the current campaigns towards rising Somali piracy within the area off the again of the Houthi assaults.

Just earlier than the brand new marketing campaign of U.S. airstrikes started, the Behshad traveled south into the Gulf of Aden. It’s now docked in Djibouti in East Africa simply off the coast from a Chinese navy base within the nation.

The assertion ends with a warning overlaid with a montage of footage of U.S. warships and an American flag.

“Those engaging in terrorist activities against Behshad or similar vessels jeopardize international maritime routes, security and assume global responsibility for potential future international risks,” the video stated.

The U.S. Navy’s West Asia-based fifth Fleet didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark over the risk.

The Saviz, which is now within the Indian Ocean close to the place the U.S. alleges Iranian drone assaults lately have focused delivery, has come below assault earlier than. In 2021, a possible limpet mine explosion blew a gap by means of the hull of the Saviz, forcing Iran to carry the ship house. That assault, suspected to have been carried out by Israel, is a part of a wider shadow battle between Tehran and Israel after the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal.

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