Breaking News Emails
The U.S. military is monitoring another Iranian ship headed towards Yemen.
Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Steve Warren said that the Iran-flagged Iran Shahed is believed to be headed to Yemen. Iranian state media is reporting that the ship is carrying humanitarian cargo, heading to the Yemeni port of Hodaida, and that Iranian warships will escort the ship there.
Yemen's dominant Houthi group accepted on Sunday a five-day humanitarian ceasefire proposed by its adversary Saudi Arabia but said it would respond to any violations of the pause. Neighboring Saudi Arabia had said on Friday that the ceasefire could begin on Tuesday if the Iranian-allied militia agreed to the pause, which would let in badly needed food and medical supplies.
Backed by the United States, a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting air strikes against the Houthis and army units loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 26 with the aim of restoring the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Colonel Warren said that if the ship is carrying humanitarian aid, the U.S. encourages the Iranians to deliver it to the United Nations aid distribution hub in Djibouti. He added that if the Iranians are "planning some sort of stunt," that would be "unhelpful" and could threaten the ceasefire.
Warren said that providing warships to escort a single ship carrying aid is "not necessary." He added that the Iranians moved a much larger convoy several weeks ago and "provoked tensions."
Warren would not discuss a possible U.S. response if the ship tries to dock in Yemen.
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