Iran Warns Washington Over Suspect ‘Spy Ships’

Iran drew a line in the water around two supposed cargo ships it deploys that have long been thought to be a spying operation. This came after the U.S. and U.K. launched a sweeping series of airstrikes against Houthi rebels based in Yemen.

Tehran is apparently anxious about the wave of U.S. strikes in the region after three American service members were killed in a drone attack in Jordan.

The catalyst of the unrest is the Israeli response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack that killed over 1,200 citizens. The Iranian warning came as fears of a sprawling regional conflict intensified.

Tehran referenced the Behshad and Saviz. Both are registered as commercial cargo ships, though Washington believes their true mission is far more sinister.

They are part of an Iranian company that the U.S. Treasury sanctioned for being a front for the government’s expansive reach throughout the Middle East. Both vessels remain in the Red Sea off Yemen, and they are widely suspected of anchoring spy missions for the Revolutionary Guard.

Saudi officials in 2017 charged the Saviz in fact operated as a maritime base and transfer point for weapons distribution in the region.

Iran countered that the ships are part of the nation’s mission against piracy. This claim holds little water due to Tehran playing no active role in international campaigns fighting Somali piracy.

American forces stepped up their attacks on Houthi positions within Yemen overnight Sunday. Missions were carried out in six provinces of the war torn country, and the capital of Sanaa was also hit.

U.S. officials reported they destroyed launch sites, underground missiles and helicopters deployed by the Iran-backed rebels.

Both sides issued statements after the strikes.

Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree declared, “These attacks will not discourage Yemeni forces and the nation from maintaining their support for Palestinians in the face of the Zionist occupation and crimes.”

Saree added, “The aggressors’ airstrikes will not go unanswered.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes against Houthi forces will continue “if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels.”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that Biden has been clear. He said the military “will continue to respond to threats that American forces face as we go forward.”

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