Indicators suggest that Tehran supports the Houthi anti-ship missile attack against the US Navy this past week. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held the US directly responsible for the devastating Saudi-led coalition bombing last week in Sanaa, Yemen. The IRGC sought to pressure the US in order to push the Saudis to deescalate the war, calculating that the US wants to avoid more involvement in the war in Yemen.
A deeper look at a recent airstrike in Sanaa by the Saudi-led military coalition, where Iranian security elites display a penchant for narrative, a circumscription of their own support for the war, as well the traditional blaming of the United States. In so doing, light is shed on how these security planners see their regional rivalries.
Iran’s conventional Navy reportedly deployed two vessels to international waters surrounding Yemen yesterday. First reported in the semi-official Iranian press, the story has also been noted in the Western press, where it was framed as part of the larger Saudi-Iranian rivalry and the ongoing war in Yemen.
On Saturday, Yemeni Houthi rebels fired projectiles against an Emirati military vessel in the strategic Mandeb Strait. The U.S. Navy has dispatched three warships to the area. U.S. officials say Iran supplied “shoulder-fired rockets.” [Update: military experts say this claim is inconsistent with footage from the video and damage to the vessel]
The Yemeni Houthi movement, officially known as Ansar Allah, has recently deployed Zelzal-3, an Iranian-manufactured artillery rocket.
While the Saudi-led coalition has made gains towards the proclaimed Houthi capital in Sanaa, the Iranian-backed Shiites continue to hit the coalition hard in both Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia.