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Iran deploys warships off Gulf of Aden

Iran sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported

Published: Updated:

Iran sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, establishing a military presence in waters off Yemen where the US military launched cruise missile strikes on areas controlled by Iran-backed Houthi forces.

“Iran’s Alvand and Bushehr warships have been dispatched to the Gulf of Aden to protect trade vessels from piracy,” Tasnim reported.

The US military strikes were in response to failed missile attacks this week on a US Navy destroyer, officials said.

Iran’s 44th flotilla, comprising Alvand destroyer and Bushehr logistic warship, has been dispatched to the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to protect the country’s trade vessels against piracy in the unsafe zone, the agency said.

It added that the Iranian fleet would head to waters near Somalia and Tanzania and through the Indian Ocean.

After making a port call in Tanzania, the 44th fleet will sail along the eastern coasts of Africa if the weather holds out, and is scheduled to sail for the western coasts of South Africa, in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The presence of the Iranian fleet in the Gulf of Aden comes after with the Pentagon announced late on Wednesday that it struck and destroyed three radar sites controlled by the Houthi militias in Yemen.

On Thursday, the US military launched cruise missile strikes to destroy coastal radar sites in Yemen in retaliation for an attacks on a US Navy destroyer launched from territories controlled by Houthis. Iran's key neighbors accuse Tehran of providing support to the Houthis.