Fears of a full-blown war in the Middle East are rising after fresh reports indicated that Iran was sending ships with weapons towards Yemen to aid the Houthi rebels, a move that could spark a strong reaction from Saudi Arabia.
With a naval blockade around Yemen, the move by Iran could lead to a full-blown conflict, US officials told The Hill.
The officials said that an armada of at least seven ships were being sent to Yemen's Aden city, which is currently under Houthi control.
The movement of these naval vessels is not being done clandestinely, leading to speculation among the officials if Iran was attempting to "communicate it" to the US and its Gulf allies.
While the US Navy is said to have seven combat ships around Yemen, they are not part of the Saudi-imposed naval blockade, US officials said on Friday, according to The Washington Post.
Tensions had already shot up last week after Iran had sent naval vessels, including a destroyer, to Yemeni waters under the guise of a routine counter-piracy mission.
The Yemeni crisis, which began with the Houthi rebels overrunning the capital city of Sana'a and Saudi Arabia launching airstrikes against them last month, is largely seen as a regional proxy war between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.
Iran has been accused of backing the Shiite Houthi rebel movement in Yemen and Saudi Arabia has justified its strikes on Yemen stating that it wants to reinstate the President Hadi-led government in Sana'a.