U.S. military sends guided-missile destroyer near Yemen

UAE protests Iran's arming of Yemeni rebels

During a news conference on Thursday, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer falsely claimed that Iran had attacked a U.S. Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf.

The Cole has been sent to an area off Yemen where US warships were attacked in October, resulting in a retaliatory Tomahawk cruise missile strike from a USA destroyer against Houthi radar installations in on Yemen's coastline.

Trump made the comment in response to a question by a reporter about whether he would consider military options to respond to Iran, a day after his National Security Adviser Michael Flynn put Tehran on "notice".

According to the Pentagon, the Iran-allied Shiite Houthis have placed mines in the water near the entrance to the Bab el-Mandeb strait.

Two Saudi sailors were killed and three were wounded in the attack.

President Trump has intensified the pressure on Iran over the tests, writing on Twitter Friday that he will not be "kind" to the Islamic Republic like the former commander-in-chief Barack Obama.

Another reason the Cole is being sent to the area is to maintaining freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and through the strait, Fox News reports. At first the ship was thought to have been struck by a missile.

Cole and its crew were the victim of a similar suicide boat attack when it was docked in Yemen in 2000.

The official noted that the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2216 on Yemen is clear in this respect, so accordingly, the Iranian weapons and unmanned aircraft which the Arab coalition forces targeted recently, are a clear violation of the relevant worldwide resolutions.

Two other warships, the USS Makin Island and the USS Comstock were also deployed near the straight, but a USA defense official told Stars and Stripes the USS Cole was sent there "for no other reason than to respond to Bab el Mandeb incidents".

Ever since Yemen's fugitive president, Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi, who is an ally of Saudi Arabia, was ousted in March 2015 and fled to Riyadh, the Saudi military has been heavily bombing Yemen and killing civilians to reinstall the fugitive president who is now based in Aden.

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