The Pentagon said the U.S. Navy sent warships into the waters near Yemen for security operations, but denied the ships were on mission to intercept Iranian arms shipments. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The Pentagon says the U.S. Navy has sent an aircraft carrier and a guided-missile cruiser into the waters near Yemen to conduct maritime security operations. A spokesman denied the ships were on a mission to intercept Iranian arms shipments. The U.S. Navy sent the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort cruiser, USS Normandy, from the Gulf into the Arabian Sea on Sunday. The ships will join seven other U.S. warships in the waters near Yemen, which is torn by civil strife as Iranian-backed Houthi rebels battle forces loyal to the U.S.-backed president. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its Arab allies have launched air strikes in an effort to stop the advance of the Houthis, a move Tehran has condemned. One U.S. official said the presence of the U.S. warships off Yemen gives American decision-makers options for action in the event the situation deteriorates.