WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US involvement in the naval blockade in Yemen to prevent Iranian weapons shipments to Houthi forces shows the inadequacy of current US engagement with Iran, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry told the press on Tuesday.
“What is happening in Yemen right now is further evidence that you can’t just look at our relationship with Iran through the prism of one program,” Thornberry said referring to the US negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
Thornberry alleged that Iran is “fuelling this war in Yemen,” and called into question the White House's reluctance to address other issues with Iran outside of nuclear proliferation.
On Monday, the United States deployed its “Theodore Roosevelt” aircraft carrier to join the Saudi Arabia-led naval blockade in the Gulf of Aden and to monitor Iranian ships in the region. The naval presence was aimed at bolstering the Saudi Arabia-led military campaign, Decisive Storm, which concluded on Tuesday.
Thornberry would not address how far the United States is willing to get involved directly in the conflict in Yemen, and stated that he had not heard from the Pentagon whether there was a directive for US rules of engagement in the Gulf of Aden.
The Saudi-led coalition against Houthi forces in Yemen concluded the first phase of its military campaign on Tuesday after three weeks of bombarding Houthi targets in Yemen. The campaign resulted in more than 2,600 casualties. Saudi state television announced the next counterterrorism-humanitarian operations stage of the campaign codenamed Operation Restoring Hope.