U.S. Aircraft Carrier Enters Seas Near Yemen
The USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) joined the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet area of operations, which includes the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean, on Tuesday.
The strike group’s arrival comes at a critical time in the region as Saudi Arabia ramps up military operations in Yemen to fight the Houthi rebels backed by Iran. The rebels have toppled the Yemeni government and have forced the president to flea his country.
On March 25th, Saudi Arabia took action against Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East. Joined by the Egyptians, the major Sunni powers are now creating a coalition that is ready to face off with Iran in Yemen. The U.S., not notified ahead of the Saudi air strikes, will provide military aid in the form of intelligence and logistical support to operations.
“Maintaining a presence, both a naval and air presence, continues the sixty plus year commitment of our nation to support security and stability in the region, which is key to a prosperous global economy,” Capt. Daniel C. Grieco, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt said. “We can accomplish this by working with our regional partners and allies in order to protect freedom of navigation.”
The Saudi Arabians and their Arab partners are expected to continue their proxy war with Iran in Yemen. The U.S. Navy’s move to position the USS Theodore Roosevelt with the Fifth Fleet can be viewed as a reaction to the increasingly tense situation in the region.
“TRCSG’s presence in the region is part of a long-standing commitment to stability and the free flow of commerce in the region. The strike group will conduct a wide range of operations alongside regional and coalition partners aimed at building trust and cooperation while helping set conditions for regional stability,” the U.S. Navy said in a press release regarding the TRCSG.
Iran Navy’s 34th fleet sets sail for Gulf of Aden
The 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy has left for the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait in line with the country’s policy of safeguarding naval routes for vessels in the region.
The flotilla, which comprises the Bushehr logistic vessel and Alborz destroyer, left Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Wednesday, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on the sidelines of a ceremony to deploy the fleet.
The commander said that the 34th Fleet is sent on a mission “to provide [safety for] Iran’s shipping lines and protect the Islamic Republic of Iran’s interests in the high seas.”
Sayyari said that the flotilla also seeks to ensure safety for the vessels against pirates.
The Navy observes international law while conducting its mission in the north of the Indian Sea with full power, the commander stressed.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has also been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.
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- Iran’s Reaction To Sunni Campaign in Yemen: ‘Block the straits, attack oil tankers’
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