“I think it’s fair to say that this appears to be a deescalation of tensions that were discussed earlier this week,” Warren said of the Iranian ship movements.
A flotilla of about nine Iranian ships were reported in the region earlier this week, with at least some of them armed. Warren said the United States continues to monitor them but has no communication with them.
The movements come following a Saudi-led naval effort to block weapons from reaching the Yemeni port of Aden in an attempt to stop the rebels from rearming. U.S. officials said they were not participating in the blockade, but would continue to patrol through the region as it usually does.
Moving the Roosevelt and Normandy to the Arabian Sea raised questions whether the United States was preparing to escalate. It also pulled them away from the Persian Gulf, where they had been used to support the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. A Navy official said Friday that the ships will return to that mission.
Seven other U.S. combat ships remain near Yemen. They are: the destroyers USS Forrest Sherman and USS Winston Churchill; the minesweepers USS Sentry and USS Dextrous; and three amphibious ships carrying about 2,200 Marines, the USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Fort McHenry. The USNS Charles Drew, the USNS Laramie and the USNS Arctic also are nearby.