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Fleets Converge off Yemen

November 24, 2009
tags: ,

The guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65).

Here is some updated news from the Debka file on the Saudi-Iranian standoff near the Yemen coast. Now as predicted, the USN is getting into the act while Tehran reinforces:

DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that over the weekend, the Aegis class cruiser USS Chosin was designated the flagship of Combined Task Force 151 which is patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.
Responding to this signal, Iran’s navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari announced Monday, Nov. 23, that Ghadir-class submarines would be joining the four Iranian warships already in position opposite the Yemeni coast. He did not say how many subs were to be deployed.

You might recall that the Saudi’s are suspecting Tehran of supporting Shiite rebels in Yemen, which is predominately Sunni. Concerning the Ghadir mini-subs, these are not a game changer unless the USN or their Arab allies are careless. From Global Security we learn:

Displacement (Submerged)-120 tons
Length-29 m
Beam-2.75 m
Speed (Surfaced)-11 knots
Speed (Submerged)-8 knots
Torpedo2 533mm torpedo tubes (also capable of launching mines)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 30, 2009 2:27 pm


    I found some nice imagery of the previously mentioned Royal Saudi Navy Al Madinah class frigates deployed in the Red Sea. These are the frigates likely to engage Iranian forces which are reportedly assisting / directing the smuggling of arms to Yemeni rebels. These appear in posting # 676 on page 46 of the thread accessed by the link provided below. Also, there’s an Iranian mini-sub shown in posting # 677.

  2. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 29, 2009 7:58 pm

    Thanks D.E.!

  3. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 29, 2009 2:16 pm

    There’s an interesting report at the BBC regarding the Houthi / Zaydi rebellion in Yemen which appears to be supported by Iranian arms smuggling efforts. Saudi forces are reported to have captured 150 Ethiopians and Somalis along their border region with Yemen. Perhaps a portion of the human traffic / smuggling from Somalia to Yemen is in support of a rebellion against the Yemeni government. Who knows?

    Saudi Arabia ‘clears’ key area of Yemeni rebels

    Saudi Arabia says it has captured a strategic mountain area near its border with Yemen from Yemeni Shia rebels.

    Saudi forces detained about 150 Ethiopians and Somalis as prisoners of war as they cleared the area, Saudi Arabia’s deputy defence minister said.

  4. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 25, 2009 1:31 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on Debka. I will keep that in mind in the future.

  5. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 25, 2009 1:23 pm


    I have to agree with Benjamin Walthrop. Anytime an item originating from Debka makes an appearance on sites like, then the commentators roundly pound upon the reliability of the source. It’s simply not viewed as a reliable source for military news.

    Just saying…

  6. Benjamin Walthrop permalink
    November 25, 2009 5:34 am

    Is it really news if it comes from Debka?


  7. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 25, 2009 3:24 am

    Marcase, that is a good point about the mines. The USN has had more trouble from mines in the Middle East than all else.

  8. Marcase permalink
    November 25, 2009 1:29 am

    It’s the minelaying ability that has me worried. It’s always forgotten how the USN has taken real hits from mines. Fortunately no ships sunk, but severe enough damage for ships to be out of commission, ntm casualties onboard.

    Mines are Irans favorite; deniable, and have a profound psychological effect causing civil flags to make even more detours at the mere hint of a mine presence, and insignificant cost.

  9. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 24, 2009 8:57 pm

    Yeah! Put the mullahs in their place!

  10. November 24, 2009 8:21 pm

    I am hoping openly & proudly for a naval battle between the US & Iran. It would be fun to see the US Navy remind the current administration why they exist.

    Hint: It’s not for a jobs program nor for ego trips.


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