Thursday 02 February 2017

White House blames Iran for attack on Saudi ship

The White House has officially put Iran “on notice” following an attack on a Saudi frigate that may have been carried out by Iranian-backed Houhti militants, said National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.

Flynn issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the Jan. 31 attack on the Saudi vessel and a “provocative ballistic missile launch,” which he said are part of a pattern of Iranian behavior.

The Obama administration “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions;” while President Trump has called previous agreements made with the U.S. and United Nations “weak and ineffective,” Flynn said.

“Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened,” he said. “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”

The threat of attacks on warships or commercial shipping has defense officials thinking about stepping up U.S. military presence near war-torn Yemen, according to two defense officials briefed on developments.

On Tuesday, reports surfaced that the Houthi Rebels were actually targeting what they thought was a U.S. warship. In the video, voices can be heard saying “death to America; death to Israel. But one of the defense officials told Navy Times that any report that the rebels were targeting the U.S. is speculation.

The deadly attack, which was caught on film and posted to social media, took place near the strategically critical Bab-a-Mandab strait, an 18-mile-wide choke point for millions of barrels of oil that move every day from the Middle East to Europe. It is also the quickest route for the U.S. Navy to travel from Europe to the Central Command area of operations.


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