US official says Iranian cargo ships have reversed course away from Aden, Yemen


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WASHINGTON — A U.S. defense official says the convoy of Iranian cargo ships that had been headed toward war-torn Yemen, possibly with advanced weaponry for Houthi rebels, has reversed its direction, at least temporarily.

The official said it remains unclear where the nine-ship convoy may be headed now, but as of Thursday it was no longer moving in the direction of the Yemeni port of Aden.

The official was not authorized to discuss ship movements publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday that the Iranian ships might be carrying weapons to the Houthis, but he would not say whether the U.S. would forcibly stop and board one of the Iranian ships if it entered Yemeni waters.

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